Weird theories.

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Being totally serious for a second, Pikachu315111's answer isn't actually a million miles from what's likely to be the real reason: some people just need something to be part of.
... Well now you made my creative juices flow:

In today's special, we talk with a man who has been a member of most of the major criminal organizations in the past couple decades. To begin, we have promised anonymity, but can you tell us a bit about your background?

GRUNT: I grew up in Goldenrod, Johto on the "wrong side of the tracks". Family didn't have a lot of money, dad left us when I was still in the single digits, mom always working and tired. I attended public school until middle school when I both dropped out and left home. Some people think it's unthinkable, they dream of living in Goldrenrod; my dream was leaving it.

REPORTER: Where did you go once you left home? Joined Team Rocket?

GRUNT: Joining Team Rocket was how I got out of Goldenrod. I had no education, I had no skills, no one was willing to hire a guy off from the streets. Wanted to adventure out but when I was home I at least had a rood over my head and food when I was hungry. That's when I heard about it, some shady guys near an alley talking about someone "recruiting" going on in the back. They were scared, but I was intrigued. So I checked it out and there it was: a Team Rocket recruiting agent. When I approached he saw me and flashed a smile, didn't get those quite often. We talked, hyping up Team Rocket like it was the next coming of Arceus. Asked me what I wanted and told him to get out or Goldenrod. He chuckled and said Team Rocket can do that and so much more: food, housing, wealth, powerful Pokemon, a place to "belong" and have "purpose". Sounds like pie in the sky, but I wasn't getting anywhere on my current life path, so I signed up and few days later riding in a back of a truck with some other guys to Viridian, Kanto.

REPORTER: What was it like to be a part of Team Rocket?

GRUNT: Wasn't as glorius as the recruiter made it down, but can't say they lied either. I may have shared it with a few guys but had a clean bed, the food was good if sometimes school lunch quality, and they gave me my first Pokemon and put us newbies through some basic training. I also got to know a lot of the other grunts, on day one we were even told get to know the guys next to you because you'll be seeing their faces a whole lot. I wasn't the social type, but with training drills where you had to partner or group up and all the grunt-allowed rooms packed with guys, and there were gals too I probably should mention, you do get to know them as you would classmates in a school. I'd talk to them, a lot came from a similar place as me, so we saw eye-to-eye even if many of use never became buddy-buddy. That was the "belonging" the recruiter talked about, so then came the "purpose".

REPORTER: How much interaction did you have with the Team Rocket Bosses?

GRUNT: Everyday bosses were called executives, they liked to run Team Rocket like it was a business instead of criminal group. They gave us the orders, no questions asked. Rarely would we see the big boss himself, usually only big gatherings where he would give a speech. Rarely would you see a glimpse of him talking near the grunt areas with the executives and the "elite" grunts he had as bodyguards. Never gave me or many of us grunts direct orders, but you just knew all orders from the Executives were passed down from him.

REPORTER: Interesting, so let's jump forward to when Team Rocket disbanded, what did you do?

GRUNT: I was in our Celadon base underneath the Game Corner cleaning up after some kid busted our whole gambling ring wide open. We were destroying evidence when the word came in over the radio from the boss himself: Team Rocket was disbanded. All of us were speechless, some even had panic attacks wondering what we would do now. I didn't have a breakdown but I did feel like the rug was pulled from under me. The lot of us got into a pretty heated argument and went our seperate ways, I and a few others ditching our uniforms. I had saved up enough money in my bank I'd be good for a while, but it was only a few days I began feeling a knot in my stomach. I really felt aimless and alone, I had no "belonging" nor no "purpose" now and left me feeling hollow.

REPORTER: And that's when you went to join Team Magma? How did that happen?

GRUNT: There was "rumors" of two warring organizations in Hoenn; Team Rocket had spies keeping an eye on things and word eventually slips down the grapevine. At the time we all agreed a team vs team fight was stupid and only result in a lot of guys dead. But that was then, there I was, teamless, alone, not really knowing where I wanted to do. So, I decided, thinking back to how I felt like when I joined Team Rocket, I bought a ticket to Hoenn and through some contacts was able to join Team Magma.

REPORTER: Was Team Magma any different from Team Rocket?

GRUNT: Oh yeah, Magma's goals were completely different from Rocket's. Magma was really social, they even had education classes you were encouraged to sign up for. It really felt like an academy, I guess. The Magma Boss was also more personal with the grunts, unlike in Rocket where we got our orders from the Executives, everyday the Magma Boss would gather the entire organization, tell us today's plans, and assign us to either a squad, Admin, and sometimes they would directly lead. In Rocket I had teammates, but in Magma I did actually feel like I had friends. But that could be because I also had people I considered enemies.

REPORTER: Team Aqua. Why didn't you join them?

GRUNT: Before joining them here's what I knew about each: Team Magma wanted to make more land, Team Aqua wanted to raise the sea levels. I walk on land, so there ya go. Honestly, looking back at it now both were pretty much the same extreme just on different ends. Sure I walk on land, but I need to drink and shower too. But that didn't matter at the time to me, and while its a good feeling to have friends, there's also this exhilarating feeling having some group to REALLY hate. At first I didn't see Aqua as anymore than an obstacle, but as I settled in and listened to the Magma Bosses' seminars, especially drilling into you how "wrong" and "backwards" thinking Team Aqua is, I just began seeing them less and less as people and more like wild beasts who needed to be put down before they hurt anyone with thier wrong thinking. Yeah, I drank the Berry-Aid hard on that one.

REPORTER: You make it sound like they were like a cult.

GRUNT: Yeah, I guess Team Magma was more cult-like, looking back. Team Rocket was very business as I said. You hung out with people on your level, took orders from executives above, and never got to see the boss. Magma made everything feel so personal, we were convinced we were saving the Hoenn region, like we were the heroes. Rocket you knew you were bad but just accepted it as part of survival.

REPORTER: What happened after Team Magma's break-up?

GRUNT: Technically they didn't break-up, neither did Aqua. After almost destroying the Hoenn region, huh oops, both teams retreated back to our respective bases. It was announced by the boss and admins they have given up on their goal and swithcing focus to not only work with the Hoenn officials but also make peace with Team Aqua. Both statements caused a riot. Some thought they were going to throw them under the sub to save their own skin. Others saw making peace with Aqua an absolute betrayal. I hate to say I was with the latter group, after I heard that I threw away my Magma cowl and was gone. I felt heartbroken. Disgusted and furious. I knew I had to move on or I'd start something up.

REPORTER: At the time of the break-up a group of former Team Rocket members were gathering together, were you a part of that?

GRUNT: Simple answer, no. Complex, *sigh*, I heard about it and feeling emotionally confused I rushed back to Johto to the team I felt didn't betray me. But by the time I got there I got my head together and saw what was going on. The group forming back together was the Rocket Bosses' fanatics and they wanted to get their boss back. Understand, the Rocket Boss was a very influential guy, very charismatic. I saw him as a figure to respect, even fear, but there were some grunts who thought he was the reincarnation of Arceus. Not helping was that the Executives who was reforming Team Rocket were some of the nuttier ones. I didn't stay beyond the pitch, the Rocket Boss was the one who broke up the team in the first place so I didn't get why they were putting him on a pedestal.

REPORTER: Team Galactic of Sinnoh was next then.

GRUNT: My head was together but was still feeling pretty betrayed now by two teams. Former grunts weren't the only people the Team Rocket gathering attracted. Another recruiter, this time for Galactic. He saw me storm out of the building and said he could tell I wasn't like those other Rocket grunts begging for a leader who would never return back. Getting a bit angry, I told the recruiter I was sick of people tricking me, pretending I was a part of a group, only for the boss and admins to betray everyone. And then with a smile, he told me does he have the team for me. Off to Sinnoh.

REPORTER: And how was Team Galactic different?

GRUNT: You remember how you said Team Magma was cultish? Thinking about it now, I change my mind on that, Galactic was cultish. Actually, no, it WAS a cult. Felt like I was teleported to a different dimension, everything was impersonal, a complete 180 from Magma. But it wasn't business-like like Rocket, it felt, how do I put this, centralized? Like, we were told our goal was using the power of the Sinnoh's Legendaries to create a source of infinite energy. Now, messing with Legendaries already was a red flag for me, but I was assured that Magma and Aqua were sloppy with controlling the Legendary, Galactic believed in leaving no room for error. I thought it was going to be hard to settle in, but instead I think I settled in the quickest with Galactic. You ever heard of the "job as hats" metaphor? In Magma and even Rocket, though we were just grunts, we were expected to wear multiple "hats". Galactic however, everyone only had ONE hat, and if you were given another hat, they would take away the one you were wearing. Going back to the words "belonging" and "purpose", Galactic made them feel like one and the same; your purpose was what made you belong.

REPORTER: So you didn't become teammates or friends with anyone on Team Galactic?

GRUNT: Let me put it this way: Rocket felt like a company and everyone a coworker. Magma felt like a school and everyone a schoolmate. Galactic sort of was like a drop-in, drop-out workshop, sure you get to know the faces of a few guys if they stay long enough but you're there for one purpose. I knew people in Galactic and had grunt areas where we gathered and talked, but it was more like water cooler talk than hanging out with friends at the club with a pint.

REPORTER: But despite that Team Galactic still fell apart.

GRUNT: I was lied to AGAIN! But this time the Galactic Boss also lied to his Commanders so it didn't feel like it was the higher-ups just messing with you. But this time I wasn't emotional about it. Could be because of the self-control conditioning we had to go through, or maybe because I'd gone through two already and became numb to the revelation. But this time I told myself I was DONE. I had to plot my own course in life and figure out what I wanted to do. And I liked feeling I was helping out, sure it turned out I wasn't but the feeling was genuine. I thought about actually staying with one of the Galactic Commanders who was looking for a new energy source or maybe even going back to Magma, but I knew I would just fall back into the grunt hole I wanted out of so got a ticket to fly to the otherside of the planet.

REPORTER: Let me guess, Unova?

GRUNT: All I wanted was to help Pokemon. I decided that a cruel thing all the teams did was mistreat Pokemon, so I wanted to do the opposite. So I looked into local Pokemon humanitarian groups with a good public image... and came across Team Plasma. I just can't escape.

REPORTER: It's alright, unlike Team Galactic, Team Plasma was very secrative with their true motives.

GRUNT: HA! Yeah, right, and I'm a Darmanitan's uncle. Sure, on the surface they acted like knights for Pokemon, but on the inside they were no better than Galactic. Plasma had a very "holier than thou" attitude, if you weren't with them you were against them. A lot of that probably had to do with their leadership, seven "wise" sages led by an idealistic king. And when I say king I mean king, he wore a crown and cape and everything. The sages too looked like they came from the middle ages.

REPORTER: You sound very dismissive of Team Plasma, did that cause any trouble with them?

GRUNT: Now I am, but at the time it felt like I was doing good. As I said, they were only "holier than thou" if you weren't part of Plasma, but if you were it was like you were part of a secret club. They treated you like a brother, or a sister if you were a girl of course. Our mission was to take away Pokemon from abusive trainers, something I could get behind, and there was a lot of abusive trainers apparently. Except not, sure there were probably a few jerk trainers we rescued Pokemon from, but most were just from normal trainers who loved their Pokemon. But because we had a "king" whatever he said goes and his dream was the complete seperation of Pokemon from humans because humans are more likely to mistreat a Pokemon. Don't know where he got that idea but as long as we were told we're saving Pokemon and could flaunt that over the non-Plasma members we were hooked.

REPORTER: And how did you react when Team Plasma fell apart?

GRUNT: It didn't fall apart, at least not immediately. First it split. The Lead Sage betraying the "King" split the team into two groups: those with the Lead Sage and those who stood by the "king". Well, there was a third group: those who left, which I was with. I heard the Lead Sage was making a "Neo Team Plasma" but from what I heard the guy was a psychopath, the Pokemon we "saved" he ended up abusing! So, no. I heard that the "king" had a change of heart but he vanished with the Legendary and so had no proof of that.

REPORTER: That's four teams now, and yet after that you joined Team Flare?

GRUNT: ... So after I failed to help Pokemon, I was done with that too. I can help no one but myself, so you knew what, that was going to to be my only goal for now one; looking out for number one. Before I left Plasma I grabbed a whole bunch of tech they developed to take over the PC system and took the earliest flight I could to the farthest region. By the morning I was in Kalos. I obviously couldn't openly sell the stolen criminal tech I had so first had to get good with the black market. Didn't take long to find someone interested in the tech: Team Flare operatives. I initially blew off them and their silly orange suits, then they tried threatening me not to take them so lightly. I asked what they were going to do about it, but they asked what I had plan with the money I was going to make. Told them none of their business but they kept asking if I was going to donate some of that money to a charity. Told them no, and that's when they offered 5 million for the tech! Unable to resist, I agreed and they took me to their base in Lumiose City. That's when I met their boss, they told him about the tech I had and what they offered. After some silence and looking around, the Flare Boss asked me to sit down and told me their plans: they're going to end the world for everyone except Team Flare who will become immortal. I was getting ready to leave when they then invited me to SEE how they were going to end the world. When I went into their base in Geosenge I could already feel an unnatural dread building inside me, and then I saw their ultimate weapon and I was shaken to my core. 5 million wasn't a random offer, to join Team Flare members had to pay that much. Basically, if I gave them the tech, they'd let me join Team Flare. I still thought the orange suits were silly, but they're at least comfortable; and surprisingly the glasses didn't tint everything orange.

REPORTER: So you joined Team Flare out of a sense of survival? Did that impact how you operated with in the team?

GRUNT: No one joined Team Flare because they were told they were going to help the world. When you joined Team Flare, and payed that 5 million entrance fee, you knew what you were paying for. It felt similar to Plasma's "secret club", except instead of those who thought they were helping out with a side of egotism this is a ritzy club where it was ALL egotism. It took a long time to adjust, and I don't think I ever did. At least not with the rich folk part of Team Flare, but I did get along with those who gave up everythng to be part of Team Flare. There were some part of Team Flare who were actually working off paying their 5 million, the rich members would make fun of them how if they weren't careful they'd be locked outside when the Ultimate Weapon was fired; even though I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case for them, I had the oddest sense of relief knowing I at least don't have to worry about that being the slightest truth. And that's how it was in Team Flare, you had your group and just hoped the richer group left you alone to do your work as they picked on a poorer group. And not to get angry and possibly be tossed out, you just put your head down and ONLY paid attention to you group. They were probably the closest group of friends I had since Magma. Speaking of which, the Flare Boss sort of reminds me of the Magma Boss, and not just because they both have the same color preference; more of a reddish-orange now thinking about it. Though rich, the Flare Boss wasn't your typical selfish, rather, he REALLY cared about Kalos and the world but saw everyone on it as vermin. Says to make the world beautiful again they need to wipe everyone out except for Team Flare, those he considered "worthy" whatever that meant. He tried to relate himself to every group, guess trying to show he had no favorites, except hard not to notice how all the admins are the richest members.

REPORTER: That sounds terrible. But the Ultimate Weapon failed and was destroyed. What happened after that?

GRUNT: Before I go on, I need to mention the next team I joined I have a gag order with. Even the region I went to I can't say else it be too obvious who I was talking about.

REPORTER: Understood.

GRUNT: Right. So, with Team Flare going up in smoke, like with Plasma I decided to get out of Kalos fast. So next morning I was in REGION X. But this time, instead of stolen tech, my baggage was something far less valuable but no more potent: extreme guilt. To not be ostracized from Team Flare, I turned the other cheek to some very bad things. I went back to thinking about my time with Team Plasma and how, though it wasn't true, it felt good when I thought I was helping Pokemon. And, speak of the Giratina, I see some of my old Plasma buddies! When I thought it was safe, I revealed myself to them and they were glad to see I was doing all right. They couldn't talk for long as they were working but, without missing a beat, asked if I was working. I told them no and they told me I should join with the group they were a part of now. A referral and interview later, I was a proud member of a Pokemon Help Group, we'll call them PHG.

REPORTER: I'm sorry to interrupt, but isn't aren't we talking about criminal organizations you joined? Unless the PHG was...

GRUNT: And now you know why there's a gag order. Yeah, at first the PHG was great. Finally, I was helping not just Pokemon but also people and the environment. The people I worked with were all friendly and shared a common interest. The leaders too were dedicated to helping Pokemon and often led research projects. And that's where troubles start. I don't know why I was included in, I have a feeling he somehow knew about my past, but one of the leaders PEAPOD started to include me on top secret projects; the type you don't put in science journals and financial records. Turns out the leader of the PHG, QUEEN, had an ulterior goal. At first I felt angry that I joined another criminal organization, but I then was told why QUEEN was doing this and my anger turned to sympathy for her. So though it was shifty, I still helped with the secret projects as well as my PHG duties. But from here I can't really say more without going into deeper details. All I can say in the end, QUEEN's motives changed for the worse. We hoped she would snap back to her normal self, but she than took things too far. A lot of what I heard came second-hand as I was out doing field work, but when things settled down I decided it was time to move on. I didn't care if things turned out alright and we were shutting down all secret projects, I just felt like instead of unloading my guilty baggage I added a carry-one bag on top of it. At least this time I didn't have to leave asap.

REPORTER: And that leads us to our final team, or rather a company that recently made headlines.

GRUNT: Yup, no gag order here. Another good thing about working for the PHG was it was something I could put on a resume. Tired of private organizations, I decided to apply for a job with a Pokemon League. Call me paranoid, but I didn't feel safe sending in an application for a region I had previously been to, so I found one with a big Pokemon League in a new region I could get myself lost in the shuffle: Galar. And the application was sent to: Macro Cosmos.

REPORTER: Were you one of the staff members who knew about President Rose's project?

GRUNT: Note entirely. Much of the Eternatus project was handled by the Macro Cosmos Energy subsidiary; I was initially part of the Pokemon League maintenance staff. Like in the PHG, all the other staffers I worked with were nice and very dedicated, just it was about the Pokemon League instead of helping Pokemon; not that they wouldn't, but you get the idea. I never met President Rose not in a group, whenever he visited a stadium we were working in we would gather around so he could tell us how important us and our work was to the League. Even today I still can't figure if he was being sincere or phony, after hearing so many criminal leaders I thought I would be good at that by now. Anyway, I had more interactions with the Vice President, Oleana. One day, I was told due to my dedication and hardwork, I was hand picked to be part of the Hammerlocke Stadium maintenance staff, an "honor" not many are picked for; I did feel pretty proud of the promotion but I suppose that's how corporations get you to be loyal to them. At first I assumed the reason they hand picked Hammerlocke Stadium staff was because its a heritage site and they only want the best taking care of it. Turns out, it was because underneath the stadium was an infinite energy spewing space dragon Macro Cosmos was siphoning energy from. I just took it in stride, and as my reward I then became one of Vice President Oleana's personal League Staff henchmen. She didn't call us henchmen, but that was who we were. And ugh, what a batch of strict stiffs they were, felt like I was back with Flare how inflated some of their egos were. I was in Rose Stadium when he released Eternatus; the previous day Vice President Oleana ordered us to stop a batch of Gym Challengers interrupting a meeting President Rose was having with Champion Leon. Can't say anymore then that without getting close to revealing my identity, but let's just saw it wasn't our proudest moment.

REPORTER: And I guess that brings us to this interview! Thank you very much for your time. Now you're no longer working with Macro Cosmos; I'm curious, if given the opportunity, would you join another criminal organization?

GRUNT: I'll admit, that's hard to say. I've been trying to stick to the straight and narrow, but as you see I just somehow keep getting sucked back into the thick of things. Between you and me, and I guess all the readers, what that Rocket recruiter said to me all those years ago still rings true: being part of a team makes me feel I belong and have a purpose. It would have to be for a cause I can back, or at least like it to be, but I would say I wouldn't turn it down immediately.
 
I think there might be some truth to the "Mars is Silver's sister" theory. Mars seems to have an extreme devotion to Cyrus that the other two Commanders don't display. Saturn pretty much rejects the cause after the Spear Pillar events and Jupiter always seemed a little more aloof based on her quotes in game. But Mars, even after defeating her for the fourth time in Stark Mountain, says she's leaving Team Galactic but still continuing her search for Cyrus.

Obviously her look resembles Ariana from Team Rocket, but her loyalty to Cyrus might stem from fear of abandonment instilled in her from Giovanni. I know Cyrus is only 27 (I think Mars is 19 but I could be wrong) but Cyrus gives off a mature vibe that might fill a void for her from lack of father figure growing up.

This is out of my element so I apologize if I am overstepping. But I always thought there was more to this theory than just "Mars looks like Ariana", who is obviously more popularly theorized to be Silver's mother and Giovanni's wife/mistress.
 

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
I think there might be some truth to the "Mars is Silver's sister" theory. Mars seems to have an extreme devotion to Cyrus that the other two Commanders don't display. Saturn pretty much rejects the cause after the Spear Pillar events and Jupiter always seemed a little more aloof based on her quotes in game. But Mars, even after defeating her for the fourth time in Stark Mountain, says she's leaving Team Galactic but still continuing her search for Cyrus.

Obviously her look resembles Ariana from Team Rocket, but her loyalty to Cyrus might stem from fear of abandonment instilled in her from Giovanni. I know Cyrus is only 27 (I think Mars is 19 but I could be wrong) but Cyrus gives off a mature vibe that might fill a void for her from lack of father figure growing up.

This is out of my element so I apologize if I am overstepping. But I always thought there was more to this theory than just "Mars looks like Ariana", who is obviously more popularly theorized to be Silver's mother and Giovanni's wife/mistress.
Never heard the "Mars is Silver's sister" theory. But I don't think it holds water. If there hair was different color or different styles no one would be suggesting it. Like, aside from that, if the only other link is that "she's extremely devoted because she's missing a father figure" than I guess Courtney & Matt are also Giovanni's kids as they're just as devoted to their boss as Mars is to Cyrus. It's an archetype, that's all that it is.

I've heard of the "Ariana being Silver's mother" theory as well and I'd say that's also a no. Cause, if Ariana was Silver's mom or Giovanni's wife/mistress, I think it would have been stated as that's kind of a major character trait. Like, sure, in the original games Silver was never specifically said to be Giovanni's son, but the hints were there not to mention the Special manga revealed it.

Interesting interview you wrote there. Is the PHG and the like your own creation?
Fill in the blanks, which region didn't I cover? :bloblul:

REGION X = ?????Zoloz
Pokemon Help Group = ?????? ??????????Zvgsvi Ulfmwzgrlm
PEAPOD = ????Uzyz
QUEEN = ????????Ofhznrmv

(If you're still having trouble, I hid an additional hint)Z=A, Y=B, etc.
 
Never heard the "Mars is Silver's sister" theory. But I don't think it holds water. If there hair was different color or different styles no one would be suggesting it. Like, aside from that, if the only other link is that "she's extremely devoted because she's missing a father figure" than I guess Courtney & Matt are also Giovanni's kids as they're just as devoted to their boss as Mars is to Cyrus. It's an archetype, that's all that it is.

I've heard of the "Ariana being Silver's mother" theory as well and I'd say that's also a no. Cause, if Ariana was Silver's mom or Giovanni's wife/mistress, I think it would have been stated as that's kind of a major character trait. Like, sure, in the original games Silver was never specifically said to be Giovanni's son, but the hints were there not to mention the Special manga revealed it.
Yeah, I'll admit this is out of my element. I guess the Mars one does seem like a stretch, your Courtney and Matt counterpoints are well taken.

Though I will say with Ariana, I don't think there has to be anything major stated in the games to draw conclusions. Sometimes with storytelling, the less exposition the better. I think there are enough hints with her being a Team Rocket Admin who wants Giovanni back, as well as her hair color, to infer Ariana to potentially be Giovanni's wife or mistress. Though there obviously isn't definitive proof one way or the other.
 
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I think there might be some truth to the "Mars is Silver's sister" theory. Mars seems to have an extreme devotion to Cyrus that the other two Commanders don't display. Saturn pretty much rejects the cause after the Spear Pillar events and Jupiter always seemed a little more aloof based on her quotes in game. But Mars, even after defeating her for the fourth time in Stark Mountain, says she's leaving Team Galactic but still continuing her search for Cyrus.

Obviously her look resembles Ariana from Team Rocket, but her loyalty to Cyrus might stem from fear of abandonment instilled in her from Giovanni. I know Cyrus is only 27 (I think Mars is 19 but I could be wrong) but Cyrus gives off a mature vibe that might fill a void for her from lack of father figure growing up.

This is out of my element so I apologize if I am overstepping. But I always thought there was more to this theory than just "Mars looks like Ariana", who is obviously more popularly theorized to be Silver's mother and Giovanni's wife/mistress.
I just have to say that I don't buy the fanon of Ariana being Silver's mother/Mars' mother/Giovanni's consort at all. It comes from a desire to flesh out the characters and fill in the blanks and I get that, but it just doesn't work for multiple reasons. Beyond the fact that literally nothing in the canon hints about it - not even in the manga, in which you'd think Silver might recognise her, or she him - I don't see what it'd add to the plot as it already stands. Silver already has a parent in Team Rocket - right at the heart of it, at that - so adding a second doesn't really shed any new light on him.

In addition to this, it seems fairly plain to me in GSC that Ariana-as-she-was-then isn't anyone particularly special. She's an Executive like the others, but she isn't any more distinct or notable than the rest of them beyond the obvious fact that she's the only female. If she had been Giovanni's romantic partner, you'd think that'd be a more compelling reason for her to want to find him than just getting the gang back together. She refers to herself as the interim boss, but it's Archer-as-he-was-then who's the final villain, so he clearly outranks her (in fact, this is stated explicitly).

Not to mention that it's a lazy and frankly pretty sexist trope that the only woman present seemingly has to be someone's love interest.

I don't want to seem like I'm having a go, especially since you clarified that this particular theory isn't your own. So I'll switch tracks and discuss the main thing that DOES interest me about Ariana - her complete 180 between games. Specifically, her change of attitude from FRLG to GSC/HGSS.

Yes, yes, I know, before someone jumps in to nitpick, as they surely will, the Admin in FRLG in the Five Island Warehouse isn't given a name. However, I think it's very clearly meant to be the same person; her team picks are almost identical to the other games (but swapping Murkrow for Muk), as are the male Admin's, and the report about radio waves affecting Pokemon evolution is about as big an indicator as they could have given without spelling it out. So, accepting that premise, what intrigues me about Ariana is what happened to her between her appearance in the Seviis and her appearance in Johto that make her change so thoroughly.

Her first words to the player when they challenge her - "I don't know or care if what I'm doing is right or wrong... I just put my faith in Giovanni and do as I am told." - paint her as insecure and uncertain; she's not proactive, nor has she fully bought into the Rocket ethos. She's a follower, not a leader. And yet she ends up being resolved enough to allow the player the opportunity to heal before facing Archer.

Contrast this to three years later in Johto. She is much harsher and determined, much more confident and emboldened in her belief in Team Rocket. She has no hesitation ganging up on the player in an attempt to overpower them. Her final words to the player have zero pity or regret:

"<player>, isn't it? A brat like you won't appreciate the magnificence of Team Rocket. That's too bad. I really admire your power."

Sure, GSC was created first, and she was written to be a fairly stock baddie in those games. But FRLG had a choice in how they depicted her, and they chose to go down this route. Actually, I think it's an interesting character arc (such as it is). It's a pity that she didn't appear in Let's Go like Archer because I think there's scope for more to tell, should any future writer want to.

This, by the by, adds another pillar to my belief that she isn't Silver's mother - I don't buy that someone who'd had Giovanni's child and then seemingly stood by him for a decade would still be wavering in the way she is, nor do I buy that Giovanni would want to have a kid with someone who obviously wasn't a true believer. Who do I think Silver's mother is? No idea. Maybe she's dead. Maybe she's a trophy wife living in a mansion somewhere. Ultimately she's just not that important.
 
Bumping this because this was a pretty interesting theory brought up on one of the Sword/Shield Discord channels and was a bit fun to talk about (courtesy of Mario With Lasers).

This one is an interesting theory, but it's very likely the Beldum line originated from outer space.

What evidence is there for it? Well first, despite being introduced in Gen 3, the first place the Beldum line (namely Metang and Metagross) are naturally found in the wild is in Unova, in the Giant Chasm.
I think the rest of the theory is pretty solid, but you actually could catch Beldum on Sinnoh's Route 228, a desert route. Granted, it's only from a swarm, which may or may not be a natural occurrence in the Pokémon world, but you could get them there.
 
I don't want to seem like I'm having a go, especially since you clarified that this particular theory isn't your own. So I'll switch tracks and discuss the main thing that DOES interest me about Ariana - her complete 180 between games. Specifically, her change of attitude from FRLG to GSC/HGSS.

Yes, yes, I know, before someone jumps in to nitpick, as they surely will, the Admin in FRLG in the Five Island Warehouse isn't given a name. However, I think it's very clearly meant to be the same person; her team picks are almost identical to the other games (but swapping Murkrow for Muk), as are the male Admin's, and the report about radio waves affecting Pokemon evolution is about as big an indicator as they could have given without spelling it out. So, accepting that premise, what intrigues me about Ariana is what happened to her between her appearance in the Seviis and her appearance in Johto that make her change so thoroughly.

Her first words to the player when they challenge her - "I don't know or care if what I'm doing is right or wrong... I just put my faith in Giovanni and do as I am told." - paint her as insecure and uncertain; she's not proactive, nor has she fully bought into the Rocket ethos. She's a follower, not a leader. And yet she ends up being resolved enough to allow the player the opportunity to heal before facing Archer.

Contrast this to three years later in Johto. She is much harsher and determined, much more confident and emboldened in her belief in Team Rocket. She has no hesitation ganging up on the player in an attempt to overpower them. Her final words to the player have zero pity or regret:

"<player>, isn't it? A brat like you won't appreciate the magnificence of Team Rocket. That's too bad. I really admire your power."

Sure, GSC was created first, and she was written to be a fairly stock baddie in those games. But FRLG had a choice in how they depicted her, and they chose to go down this route. Actually, I think it's an interesting character arc (such as it is). It's a pity that she didn't appear in Let's Go like Archer because I think there's scope for more to tell, should any future writer want to.
The continuity gap between Ariana's behavior in FRLG to HGSS is puzzling. Her exact quote after you defeat her at the Warehouse on Five Island in FRLG is: "You're doing things according to your beliefs and morals. I understand now...". As compared to her quote after being defeated at the Radio Tower in HGSS: "What a waste… not to use your strength to do bad things! Feh… People like you will never in a million years understand our brilliance! It's too bad… I've really come to respect your strength.". HGSS's quote seems even more brazen than the one you cited from GSC.

Compared to Archer, in FRLG his last words are: "We will abandon this Warehouse… But don't think this is over. I won't let this be the end. I will find Giovanni. And I will resurrect Team Rocket! I will… Until then, farewell!". And in HGSS he says: "How could this be…? Our dreams have come to naught. I was not up to the task after all. Like Giovanni has done before me, I will disband Team Rocket here today. Farewell…". There's much better continuity here, with him vowing to continue searching for Giovanni at the end of FRLG, only to finally concede defeat in HGSS.

I don't know what this says about the "Ariana being Silver's mom" theory and I hardly care since I'm barely invested in that theory. But it is an interesting continuity gap that's left unexplained. And it's very difficult to theorize about what changed her attitude since we're given few if any hints about it in the games.
 

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Well, guess it's my turn to analyze Ariana's lines:

FRLG:
Before Battle:
  • "I don't know or care if what I'm doing is right or wrong... I just put my faith in Giovanni and do as I am told."
Upon Defeat:
  • "I... I'm shattered..."
After Battle:
  • "You're doing things according to your beliefs and morals. I understand now..."
  • "I've made it so you can come back in through there. Why don't you go get rested and refreshed for what lies ahead? The Admin after me outranks me thoroughly as a Trainer. You'd better steel yourself for one harsh challenge."
So, from what I get from her Before Battle quote isn't that she's not loyal to Team Rocket, but she's directly loyal to Giovanni. And as Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket, that would than mean she's loyal to Team Rocket, seeing it as the organization if not an "empire" which Giovanni built for himself. BTW, this is also likely the deal breaker about Ariana being Giovanni's wife/Silver's mother. This doesn't sound like a spouse of a leader of an entire criminal organization, she sounds like a fangirl hoping if she does good senpai would notice her (also I don't think Giovanni's wife would be lower in rank to Archer nor would he send her out for a menial task in the Sevii Islands). Also, judging by how Silver doesn't seem to have any part with Team Rocket, it's likely Giovanni kept his family life and professional life separate, meaning Giovanni's wife isn't likely part of Team Rocket (who knows if Giovanni would have wanted Silver to take over from him when he got older). Not to mention that Silver would be born by now, Giovanni would have been married for probably more than decade by the time of events of Gen I.

Anyway, after you defeat her, what she says can be taken several ways. From how I read it, going off what she said before the battle, it's not that she realized the "error of her ways". No, I'm taking what she says about the player "doing things according to your beliefs and morals" as she's comparing it to herself. She's not doing things according to her own beliefs and morals, she's following Giovanni's. Who knows if she even considers the player's actions being "right" or simply understanding that the player is doing what they think needs to be done. The battle was probably a humbling experience for her, Ariana put her full trust in following Giovanni's yet she lost to another trainer who was following their own heart. Her letting the player through, able to rest, and warns them of the upcoming Rocket member is more her recognizing you're the stronger trainer and so cooperating in return of letting her go.

Who knows how she exactly reacted to Giovanni disbanding Team Rocket, but seems like the experience of losing to a trainer who followed their own beliefs made Ariana realize she couldn't simply rely on someone else's.

HGSS:
Rocket HQ:
Before Battle:

  • "Hold it right there!"
  • "We can't let a brat like you do as you please forever. It'll hurt Team Rocket's pride over and over again. Making it lessen, you see. …So, it's time to finish you. However strong you may be, if the two of us fight at the same time, you'll have no chance of winning. Don't you agree? Hee hee hee! Sorry, baby. Now, get ready to be thrashed."
  • "What? You had an accomplice? Where is your sense of dignity? As interim boss in the place of Giovanni, I'll show you how wrong it is to meddle with Team Rocket!"
Being defeated:
  • "Tch, you really are strong. It's too bad. If you were to join Team Rocket, you could become an Executive."
After being defeated:
  • "But that's fine. The broadcast experiment was a total success. It doesn't matter what happens to this hideout now. We have much bigger plans. You'll come to appreciate Team Rocket's true power soon enough. Enjoy yourself while you can… Hee hee hee…."
So, sounds like after the loss 3 years ago, she hardened her resolve and dedicated herself not to just Giovanni but to Team Rocket's cause. No longer not caring whether what she's doing is good or bad, she has embraced Team Rocket's criminal identity and now does "wrong" things to further Team Rocket's goals. The first example of this is getting ready to gang up on the player in a 2 vs 1 battle until Silver runs in (whom she doesn't recognize as Giovanni's son, so I think that's the final nail in the coffin for her being Silver's mom right there). It's odd she asks the player "where their sense of dignity" when Silver joins in. It doesn't sound like she's teasing the player. It sounds like she's honestly surprised the player would also "stoop" to having another trainer battle alongside them, possibly seeing the tactic as something only villainous people do and she at this point believed the player to be a more "heroic" type thus fighting on their own. There's also that quick mention of being "interim boss in the place of Giovanni". An "interim manager/boss" is a temporary leader when there's no one above them to take charge. This is indeed very strange because it would seem like Archer is in charge at the moment. This could mean two things: Either she is co-boss with Archer or she refuses to see Archer as her superior. Different from the grunt the Gen I player encountered in the Sevii Islands who says Archer is stronger than her. Could be another sign of her character growth, before she only followed Giovanni's word and if Giovanni said Archer is his second-in-command than that's that. However, now that she has dedicated herself to the cause, she now sees herself equal to any other executive and her only boss is Giovanni.

But, upon her defeat, we still see she respects strength even from an opponent. Now note she didn't offer the player (or Silver) the opportunity to join Team Rocket, instead she notes they're essentially as strong as an executive but they did what they wanted to do so retreats while threatening the player to enjoy the time that they have, vanishing with a sinister laugh. Once again, Ariana is showing her dedication to being a "villain", she doesn't bother offer the player a chance to join them because she sees them as the "hero" so they would naturally decline by default. So instead she leaves with a threat, cause telling a child that their days are numbered is quite evil.

Goldenrod Radio Tower:
Before battle:

  • "Hey, you… Remember me from the hideout in Mahogany Town? This time… Hee hee hee. This time… it looks like you're really all alone. All alone… So it should be quite easy. Bring it! Let's finish this!"
After sending out last Pokémon:
  • "Hey, what do you think you're doing?!"
Last Pokémon low on health:
  • "Wh… Wha… Why are you so strong?!"
Being defeated:
  • "Aaaieeeee! This can't be happening! I fought hard, but I still lost…"
After being defeated:
  • "What a waste… not to use your strength to do bad things! Feh… People like you will never in a million years understand our brilliance! It's too bad… I've really come to respect your strength."
Nothing really to note at the start of the battle except maybe sounding like she's ready to go in for the kill now that no one is around to see her.

But upon her final defeat, Ariana continues to show her dedication to being villainous, but sort of in a juvenile way. Could just me, but the fact she says "bad things" seems to maybe indicate that, in a way, she still doesn't quite care. And with that in mind, her decry of "you'll never understand our brilliance" makes her sound even more apathetic. "Brilliance" has nothing to do with "good or evil", despite her dedication its still clear she's only in it for Giovanni. Her complimenting the player on their strength, noting it's too bad they don't understand, which combined with her statement that the player would make JUST executive, also probably shows it's not exactly the player she respects but rather how the player's strength could have supported Giovanni. Deep down, she's still just a Giovanni fangirl.

So, yeah, it takes some artistic liberties, but I think you can connect the FRLG Sevii Island grunt to the HGSS sole female executive.
 
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Well, guess it's my turn to analyze Ariana's lines:

FRLG:


So, from what I get from her Before Battle quote isn't that she's not loyal to Team Rocket, but she's directly loyal to Giovanni. And as Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket, that would than mean she's loyal to Team Rocket, seeing it as the organization if not an "empire" which Giovanni built for himself. BTW, this is also likely the deal breaker about Ariana being Giovanni's wife/Silver's mother. This doesn't sound like a spouse of a leader of an entire criminal organization, she sounds like a fangirl hoping if she does good senpai would notice her (also I don't think Giovanni's wife would be lower in rank to Archer nor would he send her out for a menial task in the Sevii Islands). Also, judging by how Silver doesn't seem to have any part with Team Rocket, it's likely Giovanni kept his family life and professional life separate, meaning Giovanni's wife isn't likely part of Team Rocket (who knows if Giovanni would have wanted Silver to take over from him when he got older). Not to mention that Silver would be born by now, Giovanni would have been married for probably more than decade by the time of events of Gen I.

Anyway, after you defeat her, what she says can be taken several ways. From how I read it, going off what she said before the battle, it's not that she realized the "error of her ways". No, I'm taking what she says about the player "doing things according to your beliefs and morals" as she's comparing it to herself. She's not doing things according to her own beliefs and morals, she's following Giovanni's. Who knows if she even considers the player's actions being "right" or simply understanding that the player is doing what they think needs to be done. The battle was probably a humbling experience for her, Ariana put her full trust in following Giovanni's yet she lost to another trainer who was following their own heart. Her letting the player through, able to rest, and warns them of the upcoming Rocket member is more her recognizing you're the stronger trainer and so cooperating in return of letting her go.

Who knows how she exactly reacted to Giovanni disbanding Team Rocket, but seems like the experience of losing to a trainer who followed their own beliefs made Ariana realize she couldn't simply rely on someone else's.

HGSS:


So, sounds like after the loss 3 years ago, she hardened her resolve and dedicated herself not to just Giovanni but to Team Rocket's cause. No longer not caring whether what she's doing is good or bad, she has embraced Team Rocket's criminal identity and now does "wrong" things to further Team Rocket's goals. The first example of this is getting ready to gang up on the player in a 2 vs 1 battle until Silver runs in (whom she doesn't recognize as Giovanni's son, so I think that's the final nail in the coffin for her being Silver's mom right there). It's odd she asks the player "where their sense of dignity" when Silver joins in. It doesn't sound like she's teasing the player. It sounds like she's honestly surprised the player would also "stoop" to having another trainer battle alongside them, possibly seeing the tactic as something only villainous people do and she at this point believed the player to be a more "heroic" type thus fighting on their own. There's also that quick mention of being "interim boss in the place of Giovanni". An "interim manager/boss" is a temporary leader when there's no one above them to take charge. This is indeed very strange because it would seem like Archer is in charge at the moment. This could mean two things: Either she is co-boss with Archer or she refuses to see Archer as her superior. Different from the grunt the Gen I player encountered in the Sevii Islands who says Archer is stronger than her. Could be another sign of her character growth, before she only followed Giovanni's word and if Giovanni said Archer is his second-in-command than that's that. However, now that she has dedicated herself to the cause, she now sees herself equal to any other executive and her only boss is Giovanni.

But, upon her defeat, we still see she respects strength even from an opponent. Now note she didn't offer the player (or Silver) the opportunity to join Team Rocket, instead she notes they're essentially as strong as an executive but they did what they wanted to do so retreats while threatening the player to enjoy the time that they have, vanishing with a sinister laugh. Once again, Ariana is showing her dedication to being a "villain", she doesn't bother offer the player a chance to join them because she sees them as the "hero" so they would naturally decline by default. So instead she leaves with a threat, cause telling a child that their days are numbered is quite evil.



Nothing really to note at the start of the battle except maybe sounding like she's ready to go in for the kill now that no one is around to see her.

But upon her final defeat, Ariana continues to show her dedication to being villainous, but sort of in a juvenile way. Could just me, but the fact she says "bad things" seems to maybe indicate that, in a way, she still doesn't quite care. And with that in mind, her decry of "you'll never understand our brilliance" makes her sound even more apathetic. "Brilliance" has nothing to do with "good or evil", despite her dedication its still clear she's only in it for Giovanni. Her complimenting the player on their strength, noting it's too bad they don't understand, which combined with her statement that the player would make JUST executive, also probably shows it's not exactly the player she respects but rather how the player's strength could have supported Giovanni. Deep down, she's still just a Giovanni fangirl.

So, yeah, it takes some artistic liberties, but I think you can connect the FRLG Sevii Island grunt to the HGSS sole female executive.
Great analysis.

Nitpick though (sorry, I hate posts that solely do this) but it's Lance that partners with you against her, not Silver. Silver does show up in the Mahogany Rocket base though, but we don't know which members of Team Rocket he faced (if any) - all we know is that he battled Lance.

It's cool to have a villain with absolutely no redemption or punishment at all though. Even in the case of Cyrus, it's made clear that his existence is going to be a pretty miserable one (though he'll probably enjoy it) and Ghetsis basically ends up having a total mental breakdown. Giovanni is the only major villain thus far to not have any sort of closure, but I think it's evident that his story isn't really finished (USUM has him pretty plainly transporting himself to the world of Pokemon GO, ie the real world).
 
Read this entire discussion just thinking about how I don't know who the fuck Ariana is even supposed to be lmao.

Also Giovanni just seems like a character who would keep being a corrupt mafia leader until he gets arrested or shot to death or something, I don't think he has a definitive end (that can be shown in the games at least)
 
Here's a crazy theory, spurred by me thinking about natures:

There are no HP-boosting natures specifically because of Chansey and Blissey.

It's been discovered that the nature step of calculating stats can cause an overflow if the stat being boosted exceeds 595. This takes a base stat of 250 or higher to obtain for the stats that natures can currently apply to, and would take an HP stat of 196 or higher if natures could boost HP. At the time natures were being established (Gen 3), there were no base stats that met this threshold, except for Chansey's and Blissey's HP. This was before there were any base stat changes besides the introduction of Sp. Def, and it probably wasn't worth rewriting the function to deal with higher numbers, so if the bug was encountered during development of the stat system, it may well have produced the solution of "don't have the nature boost HP"
 
Here's a crazy theory, spurred by me thinking about natures:

There are no HP-boosting natures specifically because of Chansey and Blissey.

It's been discovered that the nature step of calculating stats can cause an overflow if the stat being boosted exceeds 595. This takes a base stat of 250 or higher to obtain for the stats that natures can currently apply to, and would take an HP stat of 196 or higher if natures could boost HP. At the time natures were being established (Gen 3), there were no base stats that met this threshold, except for Chansey's and Blissey's HP. This was before there were any base stat changes besides the introduction of Sp. Def, and it probably wasn't worth rewriting the function to deal with higher numbers, so if the bug was encountered during development of the stat system, it may well have produced the solution of "don't have the nature boost HP"
Sub theory: This is why, barring a reworking of the code, we will never be catching a Pokémon with >249 points in one of their non-HP base stats. And before you say “muh enternamax” I said catching.
 

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Sub theory: This is why, barring a reworking of the code, we will never be catching a Pokémon with >249 points in one of their non-HP base stats. And before you say “muh enternamax” I said catching.
Not to mention, barring a Legendary with +1k BST, that's a LOT of points to be putting into just one stat. Shuckle is the most extreme example I can think of with 230+ in Defense & Special Defense but in return its other stats have to be nearly non-existent.

Also that much in Attack or Special Attack would like make whatever move the Pokemon uses be or nearly be OHKOs even if the move it uses is resisted. That much is Speed is a waste (like, I felt Ninjask was already pushing it, and Regieleki I do think has jumped over that line and rail grinding on it).
 
I doubt Pokemon will ever be explicit about it but Ariana could still be Silver's mother and be lower than Archer in rank. I also could see Giovanni having a child out of wedlock. But he keeps her around so she can't go blabbing around their kid.
 

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
The new Sinnoh games were revealed prematurely. I don't mean this as an opinion on their marketing strategy, I'm actually proposing that the reveal direct was at one point anticipated internally by developers and marketing departments to be later this year but was fast-tracked by higher-ups. Consider the following:

-The absurd amount of time (for Pokemon standards) we've been left waiting for news since the reveal, potentially showing a lack of planning for this scenario
-The last two old-gen revisits ORAS and Let's Go were both revealed in May, much later than brand new generations. By that logic you'd think that with two separate games on the way a June reveal would make more sense rather than going earlier, especially since again the extra advertising time has not been used wisely, or even at all
-Some of the graphical rough edges in the initial BDSP and Legends trailers, while exaggerated heavily by the fanbase, could be a sign that they hadn't quite reached the polishing stages and needed juuuust a bit more time to be in the most presentable state, which leads snugly into my next point and the most recent development
-Today a new Switch model was revealed, and the trailer included new BDSP footage that is MASSIVELY modified and refined compared to similar shots from the Pokemon Day trailer.

In case you're wondering, it's already been confirmed this model has 0 hardware improvements. This leads into an interesting question: Was this an impromptu cleanup prompted by the mixed reception to the art style? Or was this always ILCA's graphical endgame that they hadn't yet been able to achieve by February 26th? Honestly considering how unprecedented this glowup is and the other things I've said, I'm more inclined to believe the latter, especially seeing as this footage just materialized from a general Switch trailer rather than a TPC production.

So, if my assertion is correct, why was this done? Simple: It was the day before Pokemon Day on the 25th anniversary and they just wanted to show what they had in the pipeline for mainline releases, figuring that more Unite or Snap content just wouldn't cut it.
My thoughts here have officially been vindicated as of today's Presents. I get it, "Gameplay not final" is a thing, but good lord both SWSH and Legends' gameplay reveals, despite being less refined at bits, are/were already FAR more representative of the final product. What the actual fuck were they THINKING choosing the state BDSP was in as of February to be the world's first impression of it
 

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