Author Topic: The flavour behind Normal/X types?  (Read 2207 times)

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Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« on: December 05, 2016, 12:48 »
Things like Sawsbuck (Normal/Grass), Heliolisk (Electric/Normal) and Pyroar (Fire/Normal) are all dual-types with normal, but I always found this really strange because in being the second type they aren't 'normal'. I just wondered if anyone else has a way of mentally justifying this or even if anyone else sees it this way? I totally understand why it would mechanically be done - second STAB and different weaknesses etc, but just flavour-wise I feel like you can't be simultaneously elemental and normal.
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Offline Captain Jigglypuff

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 13:14 »
I think it's similar to how Flying is almost always paired with another type. The exception being Tornadus of course. It also adds variety to the game and we do need a type that is neutral in terms of attack damage.
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Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 13:45 »
Yeah, but I guess to me the difference between it and Flying is that Flying doesn't imply exclusivity, whereas Normal sort of does? Like is a fire breathing lion 'normal'? Normal as a type on its own is fine, I agree a neutral(ish) type is cool, but when you pair it whether you look at normal as meaning ordinary or as meaning neutral, neither make sense to be paired?

Idk why Flying is always paired, though, especially when it's generally just with Normal, would have been a pretty cool way to differentiate one of the Pidgey clones haha.
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Offline The Hooded Trainer

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 15:04 »
Well, flying being paired with normal makes some sense, since a flying pigeon would indeed be considered normal. I see your point with fire-breathing lions though...

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 17:35 »
I get the gripe, but I guess until recently I've never thought about it all that much. Some cases it makes sense flavor-wise, like with Girafarig, who you can assume is a Normal giraffe with a Psychic butt. Others are a bit more of a stretch, but I think in most cases where it's a pure Normal that evolves into Normal/[something else], it retains its "normality" at its base but also gains another element, but not to the extent it becomes a Pure whatever-the-new-type is (see Bidoof to Bibarel, or Bunnelby to Diggersby). I guess this logic could be carried over to justify the retconning of things like the Jigglypuff line, or since you mentioned Sawsbuck, it's an otherwise Normal deer which just so happens to have plantstuff growing on it. Also, if you ask what I think of Drampa, it's that it's getting on in years and that's why it's part Normal as opposed to some other type.

...Shaky conjecture, I admit, but does any of this help?

The Litleo and Helioptile lines being part Normal (secondary, no less!) is weird, though. I've got no defense for the reasoning behind it, flavor-wise. Oh, and more pure Flying-types would be nice, but if we're not gonna get that then at least make more based off the wind end of Flying and less so the bird end. I could almost make an argument to split Flying into Wind and Bird... almost. Seems too far into the series for there to be a point to that.

Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 18:05 »
I get the gripe, but I guess until recently I've never thought about it all that much. Some cases it makes sense flavor-wise, like with Girafarig, who you can assume is a Normal giraffe with a Psychic butt. Others are a bit more of a stretch, but I think in most cases where it's a pure Normal that evolves into Normal/[something else], it retains its "normality" at its base but also gains another element, but not to the extent it becomes a Pure whatever-the-new-type is (see Bidoof to Bibarel, or Bunnelby to Diggersby).

I think Girafarig is absolutely an exception to the dislike - I can totally see its reason to be dual-type. I suppose Normal/X types make a lot more sense than X/Normal types, and I think your reasoning could be the one GF adopted (or maybe it was purely mechanical), and I guess it's like The Hooded Trainer said - a pigeon is pretty ordinary, as is a rabbit (although I'd say calling Diggersby 'normal' is somewhat of a stretch!), and I guess the physical types (pre-gen 4) make a lot more sense being Normal/X, as taking normal to mean mundane/ordinary doesn't necessarily mean you can't fly, or have rock/steel plating (i.e. a Stegosaurus could be a viable Normal/Steel type imo), I guess it's mostly the special types I take issue with (& Fighting, but that's mostly because the type chart sort of makes me think a Fighter is 'superior' to an ordinary pokemon (hence Fighting > Normal), so being Fighting/Normal makes no sense, looking at you Meloetta-P!). Water is a bit dubious, because like if Bibarel's water type is 'it can swim' I guess that still makes it mundane, and I think that's reflected in that its only water move by level is Water Gun!

I guess this logic could be carried over to justify the retconning of things like the Jigglypuff line, or since you mentioned Sawsbuck, it's an otherwise Normal deer which just so happens to have plantstuff growing on it. Also, if you ask what I think of Drampa, it's that it's getting on in years and that's why it's part Normal as opposed to some other type.

...Shaky conjecture, I admit, but does any of this help?
Jigglypuff seems like it had the Fairy type tacked on tbh - I was about to say "It can harness the power of the moon, which isn't very normal" but it doesn't actually learn Moonblast, or any Fairy move by level bar Disarming Voice, and this isn't exactly something a normal type couldn't do - I'm glad you brought this justification up because it's made me notice it might be less of a problem with Normal/X types in general, and just a subset of them. Drampa I don't think makes much sense in that sense though, like it can create Twisters and breath Dragonbreath - that just feels like it should exclude normal?

The Litleo and Helioptile lines being part Normal (secondary, no less!) is weird, though. I've got no defense for the reasoning behind it, flavor-wise. Oh, and more pure Flying-types would be nice, but if we're not gonna get that then at least make more based off the wind end of Flying and less so the bird end. I could almost make an argument to split Flying into Wind and Bird... almost. Seems too far into the series for there to be a point to that.

Secondary normals definitely seem to be the main issue - like it doesn't fall under the "Nomal-based" idea, nor are the designs particularly 'Normal' (Although I guess Litleo/Pyroar are kinda plain, but I feel the fire-breathing overwhelms that!) I wouldn't be entirely opposed to Flying being Wind tbh, not even a split. It makes it more of an element than an ability - because at the moment Flying sounds more like a flavour-specific levitate than it does a type.
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MonsterMon64

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 19:03 »
Thinking about it some more, I think the issue with the Normal type itself is that what it is is so vague to the point of interpretation. Despite the notion it's a "Plain" type, there's also evidence to conclude it's an "omni-type", meaning it sacrifices specialization for the sake of versatility. And yeah, when you get Normal/X-types, that's when it starts to get a bit weird... and yet I could easily see a, say, Normal/Ghost-type happening if it was done right. Still, you have a point, some typings may just be how they are for mechanical purposes, or even just the heck of it.*

I guess there's no reason Drampa couldn't be pure Dragon, or Dragon/not-Normal, but I thought my reasoning was fun(ny). The only other justification I could think of would be that it's usually so gentle/docile that it doesn't get Dragon on anyone unless provoked, but then that's not a trait exclusive to any one type/combination of types...

I was gonna bring up Meloetta earlier, but I couldn't think of much except Relic Song being a special case that allows it to alter its secondary typing by supernatural means... which is fine and dandy for a legendary Psychic, but it doesn't really make sense of the Normal half.

In short, what IS Normal, anyway?!

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I wouldn't be entirely opposed to Flying being Wind tbh, not even a split. It makes it more of an element than an ability - because at the moment Flying sounds more like a flavour-specific levitate than it does a type.
Not a bad point, but would there be any need to change anything but the name, then? The Rock weakness wouldn't make sense against anything but a bird, for example.

*Still bothers me a smidge that Mega Gyarados is Water/Dark-- not that it isn't cool, too, mind you-- but I guess if we're gonna bring Megas into the mix, then it's worth noting that Mega Evolutions bend the rules in general, so we get Aggron becoming pure Steel and, more topically, Lopunny getting a secondary Fighting-type. I guess it's hard to justify Normal/Fighting any way you slice it.

Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 21:03 »
Thinking about it some more, I think the issue with the Normal type itself is that what it is is so vague to the point of interpretation. Despite the notion it's a "Plain" type, there's also evidence to conclude it's an "omni-type", meaning it sacrifices specialization for the sake of versatility. And yeah, when you get Normal/X-types, that's when it starts to get a bit weird... and yet I could easily see a, say, Normal/Ghost-type happening if it was done right. Still, you have a point, some typings may just be how they are for mechanical purposes, or even just the heck of it.*

Hmm, I never really thought of Omni-type, but given normal types' tendency to learn weird moves of various types, that might be a somewhat more accurate description of the viewpoint of it being 'neutral'. Normal/Ghost is intriguin to me, I feel like it would need actual flavour justification for being both, because as it stands them being immune to each other (note, I know this didn't stop Stunfisk, but that immunities more of an extremely not very effective, whereas Ghost v Normal I always interpret as the natural can't interact with the supernatural? Also the whole can't-hurt-ghosts goes back to the point of Fighting being almost 'Super-Normal') it doesn't make a tonne of sense, but I imagine it will be done for box-checking reasons if nothing else!

I guess there's no reason Drampa couldn't be pure Dragon, or Dragon/not-Normal, but I thought my reasoning was fun(ny). The only other justification I could think of would be that it's usually so gentle/docile that it doesn't get Dragon on anyone unless provoked, but then that's not a trait exclusive to any one type/combination of types...

I totally agree the idea was fun, but I'm just not sure it's convincing? I guess there has to be some creative lee-way in a game like this though!

I was gonna bring up Meloetta earlier, but I couldn't think of much except Relic Song being a special case that allows it to alter its secondary typing by supernatural means... which is fine and dandy for a legendary Psychic, but it doesn't really make sense of the Normal half.

In short, what IS Normal, anyway?!

Yeah, I feel like they just wanted cohesion between the types and Normal was the only one that made sort-of sense? But yeah, the mention of legendaries makes me think actually - if legendary normal types exist can we ever take normal to mean 'ordinary' rather than 'neutral/omnitype'?

Not a bad point, but would there be any need to change anything but the name, then? The Rock weakness wouldn't make sense against anything but a bird, for example.

That's very true, I guess even Electric would make less sense, and Wind would probably be SE against Rock because erosion, so maybe they would have to be split. It never seems like much of a flavour change from Flying -> Wind but when you look at the type chart it's crazy different 0_o

*Still bothers me a smidge that Mega Gyarados is Water/Dark-- not that it isn't cool, too, mind you-- but I guess if we're gonna bring Megas into the mix, then it's worth noting that Mega Evolutions bend the rules in general, so we get Aggron becoming pure Steel and, more topically, Lopunny getting a secondary Fighting-type. I guess it's hard to justify Normal/Fighting any way you slice it.
Yeah, although tbf I had a hard time imaging Gyarados as flying too - like I get he isn't dragon because RBY only had Dragon Rage that'd be 'SE' against him, but idk. Yeah, I don't recall any pokemon losing a type without gaining another? I'm sure there are other exceptions though. Lopunny's type annoys me so much, I can't believe I forgot it in the original post! I guess it must be the idea you had of it retaining normal-ness, but it just really makes very little sense with fighting!
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Offline Lord Raven

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2016, 03:32 »
Maybe normal is supposed to represent just normal animals. How many normal types do you know aren't really plain in a way?

Bewear being like the only exception because it's basically a stuffed animal fighter thing.
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Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2016, 21:31 »
Maybe normal is supposed to represent just normal animals. How many normal types do you know aren't really plain in a way?

Bewear being like the only exception because it's basically a stuffed animal fighter thing.

The thing with this explanation is, whilst it does explain like pretty much every normal type, you run into an issue where you start asking why things aren't normal. Ekans, for example, is just a regular snake, and Ponyta is just a horse (albeit on fire, but then Pyroar is similar in terms of how not-normal of an animal it is), Seel etc.
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Offline Lord Raven

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 21:05 »
Well the thing is that Ekans was before they gave a crap about this (I really hate to whittle the discussion down to this), and I believe that Ekans/Arbok resemble more of a dark-type archetype than anything else. Would also like to note that snakes and cobras aren't really "normal." I could also specify a bit and refer to "normal mammals," which basically only leaves Ditto, Type: Null/Silvally, Arceus, Regigigas, Castform, Lickitung, Smeargle, Happiny, Kecleon, and the Porygons as exceptions as far as the pure types go.

With Type Null/Smeargle/Silvally/Arceus/Regigigas/Castform/Porygon, they were going with "absence of element." With Lickitung they were pretty high no matter how you slice it. With the Happiny line, they probably figured nothing else fit, although they didn't put a Fairy dual type which is questionable.

When we hit the dual-types I don't think much changes, because the oddities are Jigglypuff, Meloetta, and Helioptile. Jiggs is a basic ass balloon, Helioptile could have some routes as a "normal lizard," because while Ekans/Arbok are too hostile in their lore as Pokemon to really be a normal type, Helioptile isn't inherently hostile and salutes the sun. I'm at a loss for words as far as Meloetta is concerned, but any conjecture I come up with would be a stretch.

Ponyta's back is on fire, whereas Litleo and Pyroar are just lions with some strange colors. Sure they can breathe fire, but their back isn't literally on fire.
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Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 21:39 »
Well the thing is that Ekans was before they gave a crap about this (I really hate to whittle the discussion down to this), and I believe that Ekans/Arbok resemble more of a dark-type archetype than anything else. Would also like to note that snakes and cobras aren't really "normal." I could also specify a bit and refer to "normal mammals," which basically only leaves Ditto, Type: Null/Silvally, Arceus, Regigigas, Castform, Lickitung, Smeargle, Happiny, Kecleon, and the Porygons as exceptions as far as the pure types go.

I think it's pretty fair to say that gen 1 would have less time to worry about the specifics of types and having cohesion etc, with it being the first game they probably just wanted to get the skeleton down, but yeah I guess mammals seems to be more down the Normal type route as well, and that definitely serves as definition for Normal types.

With Type Null/Smeargle/Silvally/Arceus/Regigigas/Castform/Porygon, they were going with "absence of element." With Lickitung they were pretty high no matter how you slice it. With the Happiny line, they probably figured nothing else fit, although they didn't put a Fairy dual type which is questionable.

This bit really makes me think - I mean you've pretty easily pointed out that Normal can be divided into "ordinary mammals" & "elementally neutral", and I guess this is where my dislike for the Normal/X types comes from - that they don't fit at all under the latter, but I never really looked at them under the former. In some ways the Normal type could almost be two types, with a second Neutral type which has no type (dis)advantages. better suiting the flavour of the exceptions you give, but that would probably have the problem that Rock/Ground has with a lot of people (i.e. they're not distinct enough)

When we hit the dual-types I don't think much changes, because the oddities are Jigglypuff, Meloetta, and Helioptile. Jiggs is a basic ass balloon, Helioptile could have some routes as a "normal lizard," because while Ekans/Arbok are too hostile in their lore as Pokemon to really be a normal type, Helioptile isn't inherently hostile and salutes the sun. I'm at a loss for words as far as Meloetta is concerned, but any conjecture I come up with would be a stretch.

Yeah, I feel Jigglypuff is mostly normal because they didn't want to make it and Clefairy /even more/ similar, rather than for any purely flavourful reason, which is why it doesn't have the best explanation. Helioptile seems a bit of a stretch though - or more Heliolisk I should say. Most other Normal/X types have few of their X-type move, but Heliolisk has loads, even as far as having a near-signature move (Dedenne has it too, but Parabolic Charge), and it doesn't look particularly ordinary, and unlike most mono-normal, it neither looks close to an animal (I mean, it's a dinosaur-lizard-thing, but generally that kind of creature is more Dragon than Normal (Druddigon, Bagon, Tyrunt)) nor is it difficult to assign an element (ala pre-gen-VI Jigglypuff & Clefairy). Meloetta is a complete loss, I agree, unless I guess Normal is the 'sound' element, e.g. Boomburst, Hyper Voice, Echoed Voice, but that seems like a lot of definitions for one type!

Ponyta's back is on fire, whereas Litleo and Pyroar are just lions with some strange colors. Sure they can breathe fire, but their back isn't literally on fire.

Yeah, I guess it depends where the line is drawn in how elemental you need to be to no longer be normal, a bit like MonsterMon said earlier with the gaining another element but not enough to overwhelm its normality
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Offline Captain Jigglypuff

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2016, 23:02 »
I prefer to think that Normal Pokémon are there to balance the Type chart by being neutral and having no types weak to it. If it didn't exist then Ghost would still be a bit overpowered and be in a similar situation like Dragon types were before the introduction of the Fairy type. Only Dark would resist Ghost attacks after Gen 6 and Pokémon like Mega Gengar would wreak havoc competively since nothing else could last very long in battle.
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Offline Lord Raven

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Re: The flavour behind Normal/X types?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2016, 03:57 »
I prefer to think that Normal Pokémon are there to balance the Type chart by being neutral and having no types weak to it. If it didn't exist then Ghost would still be a bit overpowered and be in a similar situation like Dragon types were before the introduction of the Fairy type. Only Dark would resist Ghost attacks after Gen 6 and Pokémon like Mega Gengar would wreak havoc competively since nothing else could last very long in battle.

I hope you are aware this is not what is being discussed in this thread.
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