|Total Pokédex Size:||252|
|Starter Pokémon:||Adargana, Cindigre, Swimmole|
|Number of Settlements:||14|
|Climate/Geography:||Temperate and somewhat mountainous|
The trainers in Accolanto are considered some of the most dedicated in the entire Zencalian Confederation League. No-frills and high-skill Pokémon battles are all the rage—the only rage, really—and everyone from beginning battlers to Pokémon masters can find a challenge that's just right for them. There's even a second Pokémon League starting up soon, offering advanced battlers twice the opportunity for a good scrap, although the details surrounding its split from the original league are still a mystery.
The westernmost major landmass in Zencalia is also the largest, home to the twin regions Accolanto and Calivera. Accolanto's thriving Pokémon League in particular has earned it quite the reputation among the Zencalian regions: the Accolanto League was the first full-fledged Pokémon sporting organization in Zencalia (and therefore the founding league in the ZCL), and has been going strong for a good seventy years with no signs of slowing down. In fact, Pokémon battling as a sport is so wildly popular in Accolanto that no other Pokémon-related pastimes have managed to find a foothold there. If you're looking for contests, you'd be better off heading for New Logora to the south; musicals and movies in Accolanto are meant for actors, not for hardcore Pokémon enthusiasts.
If battling's your game, though, then search no further. Accolanto consistently produces trainers of impressive strength, high-caliber Pokémon masters who've taken tournaments around the world by storm. Its gym leaders are indisputable experts in their chosen specialties, reportedly taking the art of monotype battling to a whole new level. A large, bustling city, Heliotropolis, has sprung up around the league's headquarters, and trainers who wend their way through Accolanto's heavily-forested Victory Road to reach it will find the ZC's most respected Elite Four—and a Champion who has been decimating opponents for over half a century—waiting for them there.
As with any major sporting league the Accolanto League has its fair share of problems and drama, and recently there have been some very serious disagreements between several of the league's officials. These disagreements have resulted in a schism that has divided the organization, leaving one half storming off to create a new, independent Pokémon League after its own vision and the other scrambling to replace the missing members and hold itself together. Some see the incident as something exciting and even welcome, looking forward to the new changes and challenges the splinter league will bring and pleased that even more awesome Pokémon-battling options are on the horizon. With the details of the schism currently undisclosed, however, most trainers are left with only wild speculation about the nature of the problem and what it means for the future of their now-struggling Pokémon League.
Locations in Accolanto
- Pastel City: A bustling, growing city known for producing exceptional trainers thanks to its academy and to Professor Oleaster's starters
- Forest Town: A quiet town that sits at a crossroads: face Desiree's Ground-types and continue south on the gym circuit, or head east though the woods to the Pokémon League
- Charcoal City: Petra's Rock-type gym is the biggest attraction in this once-hectic industrial city
- South Jadewing Forest: The small wild Pokémon scurrying underfoot here are only a taste of the powerful creatures lurking deep within the woods
- Skyrate's Run: A former smuggler's run that follows an underground river to Amaranth Bay
- Mt. Carnelian: A system of caves and tunnels that passes through a dormant volcano
Let me get this out of the way now, because as I reveal more and more about Accolanto you're bound to notice anyway and will probably get suspicious: yes, a lot of this region is inspired, at least in part, by Kanto and Generation I/III. I think it started as something of a cop-out to make organizing and filling the pokédex of a then-plotless region a little easier: take the Kanto pokédex, use the exact same number of Pokémon and distribution of evolution lines, then make up my own Pokémon to go in each spot so long as at least one of the new Pokémon's types matches one of the types of whatever it's replacing. (Removing a type from dual-types, e.g. Adargana being pure Grass even though Bulbasaur is Grass/Poison, is fine; adding a type, e.g. Neuramole being part-Psychic even though Wartortle isn't, is fine; changing one of a dual-type's types, e.g. Voltigre being part-Electric instead of Charizard's part-Flying, is fine. I just couldn't have made Dribbino Rock/Dragon, for example, because Pidgey is neither of those types.) Somehow, as these things always manage to do eventually, my attempt at
being lazy easing my 'dex-design workload managed to warp itself into "yo Phoenix you should totally borrow more from Kanto here and there, it will both make your life a tiny bit easier and it can sort of be like an homage to the region that got you hooked on dorky fighting monsters for the last decade and a half!"
This is not to say that this whole project is going to be "Red/Blue but with fakemon!" Accolanto is its own region with its own history and an entirely distinct set of current events. Accolanto does borrow from Kanto here and there in the story department as well (namely the deemphasized legendaries—I love legendaries, but what with the mess going on in all the other major ZC regions I thought a breather from all that might be nice), although I obviously didn't want to copy Kanto's plotline verbatim. It's already been done, for one thing, and for the other it just wasn't all that interesting as a story in the first place. A little simplistic, a little disjointed, etc., etc.; I'm sure you've heard all the most common complaints about the storylines in early Pokémon games before. On the one hand it's sort of nice that it gets out of your way, lets you fill in the gaps and doesn't impose much on you when creating fanwork, but on the other if you want an intriguing, complete, standalone story then I'm sorry but you're really looking at the wrong series of RPGs.
Since I still find the concept of the Pokémon League a pretty interesting one, I don't intend to ditch the standard gym formula to address those complaints the way a lot of fangames and fanregions are wont to do. In my opinion it's not that the general idea of Pokémon Leagues and gym leaders and what have you is boring. The problem is that most of the main series games have had a lot of different things going on and dividing the protagonist's attention, complete the pokédex this and stop the bad guys that and don't forget the badges over there, and didn't do a very good job tying them together into one cohesive story. In RBY getting rid of Team Rocket and becoming the League Champion are two distinct, unrelated jobs, the only thing linking them being the fact that training your Pokémon to accomplish one coincidentally makes them strong enough to help you accomplish the other. Only Black and White so far have even attempted to reconcile the two disparate tasks, and I'd like to think that with a little effort I can take it even further and make the road to the Pokémon League a fully-fledged and entertaining part of the story in its own right rather than one of three competing and not-quite-fleshed-out goals. I suppose only time will tell just how well I manage to do that, but I intend to give it a damn good try.
(And just to be clear, my work on Accolanto is still going to be up to the standards of the sixth generation and later: Dark-, Steel- and Fairy-types exist, moves like Focus Punch and Trick Room and Electro Ball exist, moves are individually classified as physical or special rather than classified by type and the events of its main storyline are roughly contemporaneous with the events of Black and White (or perhaps even later). This is not in any way a "first-generation–era" project. It's not that I don't have any interest in a "devamp" sort of project that hearkens back to the days of only 150/151 Pokémon, simpler graphics, broken Psychic-types and hilarious glitches, and in fact I would like to try something like that one day; this just isn't it.)