I was thinking about this the other day. In the games/show Pokémon, there seems to be very different levels of technological advancement. For example, they can teleport complex beings through computers (Bill's Computer). However, many towns are completely isolated from one another, requiring one to go through caves or forests to reach. This is bizarre, since every Pokémon medium shows cars at some point.

How would this world function? How can you have advanced technology on one hand, and completely archaic transportation methods in the other? Note that the isolated towns are as technologically advanced as every other.

Logical explanations would do, but anything from canon (from any medium) would be best.

  • 6
    I don't see the point of having a car if it barely takes me less than one minute to travel from Littleroot to Oldale town. Walking. Just saying.
    – Saturn
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 19:35
  • 2
    The explanation is "it's just a game". Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 16:11
  • @Voldemort great point. Most games (not just Pokemon) vastly underestimate the time it takes to travel or are otherwise very unrealistic in this respect. As someone who actually has walked to the next town in real life by foot, I can say that it is not a 30 second waltz through two or three screens. Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 21:46
  • Technology inevitably falls by the wayside when everyone in the world is a slave to the uncontrollable feeling that they gotta catch 'em all Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Note that Pokemon with the Fly HM can take you from city to city within minutes, assuming that we're going to by game time = real time. Since Pokemon have made transportation so quick, it is easy to see lack of technological development along the lines of personal cars and whatnot. We do see cruise ships and railways, but notice that those are developed for mass transit, something that a Pokemon with Fly cannot do.

Any other form of advanced technology, data storage and medicine, seem to focus solely on supplementing Pokemon. The abilities of certain Pokemon far outstrip anything the nearest next-gen tech could produce, thus resulting in a lack of technological development in certain areas. For almost anything you would require modern technology for, Pokemon can achieve with their natural abilities.

  • 2
    We also see removalists vans, as you start your journey in Generation 3 games in one
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 2:57
  • Does the show regularly have people using Fly?
    – Harabeck
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 17:15

I feel like it's more of a world mindset. From episode 1 onward we learn that Ash, like every other 10yr old goes on a "Pokémon journey". There isn't a concrete point to these journeys. It's not like the kids have to go and bring back enough food to feed the townsfolk or they all die from starvation.

Even the quest to "Catch'm All" or to become a "Pokémon Master" are just two goals of many. We often see trainers who don't seem to really care about those two goals and focus on other things, like acting or helping people. Those are just Ash's personal goals.

So to me, it seems like the goal of the "journey" (And I really think we should hear more music from Journey in the show. "He's just a small town boy. . . Born and raised in PALLET TOOOOWNNN!!!") is to build the character of the children. I think the main goal here is to teach the children appreciation for the world around them and how to act in harmony and balance with it. It's more about building a relationship with your Pokémon and learning how to work in harmony with him/her. Then those lessons get applied to the world at large.

As you pointed out, even the isolated villages have technology, so it seems to me that the inhabitants want it the way it is. It's like they choose to make people struggle a little to get to them, to build character.

There are obviously cars and businesses, but it seems like people use the as little as possible in favor of small farm to table business' like the woman who milks that cow Pokémon (forget the name).

The kids learn life lessons on their journey and kids turn into adults, so the adults will have similar values and beliefs. You could almost think of Pokémon as a dystopian fantasy. Similar to Terry Brooks' "Shannara Series". Maybe todays world advanced and we got the ability to either create or adapt species into new species. We increased their intelligence and gave them abilities. Of course people started abusing those abilities and the world went to trash. When the dust settled and the rubble cleared, the ones who were left said, "No more.". They let the old infrastructure rot away and got rid of any of the weaponized technology, only keeping and advancing the tech that helped make their world better. The realized they had to make a fundamental change as a race and new that the children were the future, so they sent them on "journeys" with their Pokémon so that they would learn and ingrain the lessons they needed to, to prevent a repeat of what nearly destroyed the world.

Just a thought, but that's the kind of line I was thinking along, that they have it the way they do through choice as opposed to lack of ability to change their circumstances.

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