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Pokemon X and Y Will Let You Choose Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle!

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Let’s talk for one second about the former Governor of Illinois and United States Senator, Adalai Stevenson. On three separate occasions, Stevenson ran for President, in 1952, 1956 and 1960, but each time, he came up short. One can only imagine Stevenson’s anger, his shame, from coming so close to glory, only to have it snatched away by more popular candidates on three separate occasions.

Yesterday, Nintendo held a Pokemon Direct conference, and revealed that for the first time, players will make not only a choice from from the previously-announced starter Pokemon — Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie — but also a second selection, choosing from Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Yes, the original starting Pokemon are back, and they’re ready to snatch the glory away from Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie.

pokemon starters charmander squirtle bulbasaur
From left to right: Metaphor for Eisenhower’s first term, Metaphor for Eisenhower’s second term, actual John F. Kennedy (his brain was reconstituted and put in a Squirtle)

In the years to come, we’ll all think of Pokemon X and Y as the game where the original starters came back, not as the game where we first met Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie, much like how we remember the 50’s as the decade Eisenhower was president, not as the decade Adlai Stevenson ran, so often and so hard, for president.

So how will this public embarrassment for the new starters take place? While the previous Pokemon games have opened with you choosing your Pokemon from a professor, that moment in X and Y will come later. Initially, you’ll be given your first Pokemon by a “friend”. I don’t want to cast doubt here, but that SEEMS suspicious. Not many people just give away Pokemon like that, friend or not. There has to be an ulterior motive.

pokemon starters moving
“No way is this worth a Froakie, dude.”

Some other details about Pokemon X and Y were revealed during the Nintendo Direct, including the fact that Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle will, for the first time in the series, have mega evolutions. There’s actually a moment in the presentation where producer Junichi Masada LITERALLY says, “During a battle, I think there will be a moment when a player’s feelings seem to actually go into the game and combine with the Pokemon and that’s when mega evolution happens.”

Look, I respect everything Mr. Masada has done with Pokemon, but if it’s a choice between keeping my feelings in my body or losing them to a computer program, I think I’ll skip the mega-evolution, thanks.

pokemon starters digital boy
Feelings belong in PEOPLE, dammit! In PEOPLE!

Now, I know, I know, they’re just fictional characters. But if Nintendo was hoping to build new, iconic characters for their Pokemon franchise, announcing new starters and then immediately neutering them by re-introducing better starters is not the way to go.

But Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie could still be important characters in the Pokemon cannon anyhow, so long as they’re able to check their egos. Remember, it was John F. Kennedy who once said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

pokemon starters squirtle speech
And it’s that theme of selflessness and service that President Kennedy has reiterated time and time again, ever since his brain was reconstituted and put into the body of a Squirtle.

Which of the three original starters is your favorite? Let me know on Twitter — @mikeyfromsu — or in the comments below!

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