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Thread: Contents of Poke Ball

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    Default Contents of Poke Ball

    As I was writing for my story, a thought passed my mind about Poke balls; couldn't they carry non-Pokemon objects?

    One of the memories I have of the early anime is when Ash is trying to capture a Mankey and ends up catching food instead. Now, I know that a lot of the anime is not considered canon for writing, but this is one of those things that would never pop up in gameplay, so we wouldn't really know either way.

    In the end I decided against it, as the mechanic itself would outweigh the note sent inside the ball in the mind of the reader, I expect. But does this seem viable to anyone else?
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    I almost hate to say this, but when you think about it, the dematerialization of living matter as (according to the laws of thermodynamics) it is converted into energy, is... horrifying to think about.

    As for them carrying other things... why not? I don't think anyone would question it... because questioning the pokeball will stretch your brain as is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    One of the memories I have of the early anime is when Ash is trying to capture a Mankey and ends up catching food instead. Now, I know that a lot of the anime is not considered canon for writing, but this is one of those things that would never pop up in gameplay, so we wouldn't really know either way.
    That depends on what you think item balls are. Y'know, those Poké Ball lookalikes that you find on the game map. Also note that inanimate objects used to be stored via PC a la Pokémon, so it's possible that the same laws that apparently affect Pokémon when it comes to storage can affect objects (meaning balls could be used to store items if necessary... although seriously, why would you waste a ball for that).

    But! I think it'd be passable to anyone if you decided to write the ball rules to exclude items. Not that many people think about the way storing things works when it comes to fanfiction, so you could hand-wave it or avoid bringing it up at all without having anyone question you.

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    Pokeballs might utilize the same technology as computers, which both Pokemon and items can be stored inside. Don't ask me how, it's like they're nothing but packets of data... Objects inside a video game, y'know?

    Personally, I'd just try to handwave the whole thing. Call it a "Pokéuniverse" instead of "pocket universe" or something.
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    Being me and therefore prone to bouts of curiously scientific lunacy, I invented a whole bunch of spurious pseudoscience when I found myself wondering what exactly goes on inside a Poké Ball. This is it, condensed from the explanation in the story it appeared in:

    Quote Originally Posted by Science!
    The Poké Ball operates on the principle that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. It converts a Pokémon to pure energy, reduces the energy and then converts it back to mass – thereby reducing its size. The beauty of the system is that this temporary suspension of the usual nature of the Pokémon only works within the confines of the ball's area, meaning that as soon as it is opened, the Pokémon expands back to normal size. But of course, this leaves the engineer with a problem – how is the ball to encode every aspect of the Pokémon's atomic make-up so that it can reconstitute the shrunken version? The answer is surprisingly simple: we borrow technology from nature. Apricorns, to be precise. They can capture and contain Pokémon, and they can do this because the hard skin is actually a complex layer of silicon atoms, something like quartz in its molecular structure. This layer configures itself to encode, on an atomic level, the entire tree from which it came. When separated from the tree, it temporarily becomes reconfigurable – hence why it can be used as a Ball. The Poké Ball utilises technology drawn from the Apricorn. It encodes the material in a silicon matrix.
    Anyway, leaving aside the various gaping holes in this explanation, I fail to see why items can't be trapped within Balls as well, or indeed anything else. Presumably manufacturers would add some kind of lock to Poké Balls so that they can only be applied to Pokémon, or I imagine the technology would result in some fairly horrific activities; perhaps there's a tag that checks the contents of the ball for an elemental alignment and rejects it if it isn't found.

    What I find most interesting about the whole thing is Jax's comment about item balls on the game maps. Those item balls frequently contain Poké Balls in themselves, which (if the item balls are in fact Poké Balls) in theory could contain further Poké Balls, and further Poké Balls, and further Poké Balls, and so on until we spiral into martryoshka Ball madness. If 'releasing' one Ball releases the Balls within it, one could develop a kind of quantum cluster bomb - entirely useless, but it would probably get a decent laugh at parties.

    Uh, of course, most people don't look at mechanics that closely, and wouldn't think about the implications of a note in a Poké Ball. To finally get around to answering the question posed in the first post, because I totally didn't lose control of my own imagination halfway through reading it and go off on this whole flight of fancy before actually seeing what the question was.

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    Last edited by Cutlerine; 31st January 2013 at 12:38 PM.

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    For my part, I write pokéballs as working on pokémon exclusively, because if they didn't, I don't see how I would deal with the implications of being able to capture humans the same way you can capture pokémon. Even with strict regulations and measures by pokéball manufacturers to prevent them from being used in that way, they're shown as being so ubiquitous that I have no idea how you could possibly keep a lid on illicit uses. Ultimately, being able to capture and transport people like that would do crazy things to society, and generally I want my 'fics to focus on something other than how that would change things (although it might be fun to write a 'fic about it someday). About the only way I could see it working would be if pokéballs required ridiculous technical infrastructure to produce, similar to how nuclear power and weapons capability are regulated today, and even that doesn't work very well. And, in canon, it's clear that's not the case: witness independent ball manufacturers like Kurt who have everything they need in a quaint little workshop. If anybody can just pay off some dude to whip up a few apricorn-balls without the anti-human-locks or whatever, how could you possibly regulate that kind of thing?

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    Well... poké balls have* to be able to contain items in some way, shape or form, don't they? How else do you explain your sneasel holding on to those blackglasses even after it's been recalled? Dunno how the mechanics of that would work because "wat make pokeyball go" is not an area of headcanon I've spent a lot of time on, but it is right there in the games if you'd like to try and expand on that or something. *shrug*

    *I guess you could specify that the item is automatically rejected by the ball and dropped while the pokémon itself is pulled inside, but then that means the trainer would have to put the item back on every time they sent the pokémon out again. Doesn't appear to happen that way, does it?

    I'm not sure what you're writing, but I guess I'd first ask you to think about why it was necessary to have the note in a poké ball in the first place. (Possibly not that necessary since you seem to have found a way around it; either way, you don't have to elaborate here if it's spoilery, just think about it.) Then, if you're still attached to the idea of note-in-ball but don't want to deal with the implications of "catching" items, I'd ask whether it's possible that a pokémon hold the note—almost like the mail feature in the games. Again, I don't know how well that works in the context of whatever your situation is, but I can see certain types of characters either handing off a note in a ball "oh and also there's a free eevee but mostly just read the note", or even making a quick capture for the explicit purpose of holding the note. The latter especially is a hilariously convoluted way to go about delivering a message, but now I have character bunnies about the sort of person who would beat up and catch an innocent, minding-its-own-business rattata just to give a note to someone else so it can't be all bad.

    Actually, now that I think about it, even if the ball couldn't actually digitize or convert or blah blah blah science whatever an item, couldn't you just put the note inside it anyway? In essence it's nothing more than a hollowed-out sphere, a vessel just like any other; far as I can tell you can open it without explicitly triggering its capture mechanism, or if the mechanism is tripped then it can still remain open without having successfully pulled anything inside. So... put the note inside it as you'd put it inside any other container, and just don't have the mechanism go off because there're no pokémon involved. (Or maybe, if you do want items to be affected in general, you could use a ball with a broken capture mechanism.) Unless it's necessary that the note actually be "caught" by the ball as opposed to just stored within it, that seems like an easy way to solve your problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    Well... poké balls have* to be able to contain items in some way, shape or form, don't they? How else do you explain your sneasel holding on to those blackglasses even after it's been recalled? Dunno how the mechanics of that would work because "wat make pokeyball go" is not an area of headcanon I've spent a lot of time on, but it is right there in the games if you'd like to try and expand on that or something. *shrug*

    *I guess you could specify that the item is automatically rejected by the ball and dropped while the pokémon itself is pulled inside, but then that means the trainer would have to put the item back on every time they sent the pokémon out again. Doesn't appear to happen that way, does it?

    I'm not sure what you're writing, but I guess I'd first ask you to think about why it was necessary to have the note in a poké ball in the first place. (Possibly not that necessary since you seem to have found a way around it; either way, you don't have to elaborate here if it's spoilery, just think about it.) Then, if you're still attached to the idea of note-in-ball but don't want to deal with the implications of "catching" items, I'd ask whether it's possible that a pokémon hold the note—almost like the mail feature in the games. Again, I don't know how well that works in the context of whatever your situation is, but I can see certain types of characters either handing off a note in a ball "oh and also there's a free eevee but mostly just read the note", or even making a quick capture for the explicit purpose of holding the note. The latter especially is a hilariously convoluted way to go about delivering a message, but now I have character bunnies about the sort of person who would beat up and catch an innocent, minding-its-own-business rattata just to give a note to someone else so it can't be all bad.

    Actually, now that I think about it, even if the ball couldn't actually digitize or convert or blah blah blah science whatever an item, couldn't you just put the note inside it anyway? In essence it's nothing more than a hollowed-out sphere, a vessel just like any other; far as I can tell you can open it without explicitly triggering its capture mechanism, or if the mechanism is tripped then it can still remain open without having successfully pulled anything inside. So... put the note inside it as you'd put it inside any other container, and just don't have the mechanism go off because there're no pokémon involved. (Or maybe, if you do want items to be affected in general, you could use a ball with a broken capture mechanism.) Unless it's necessary that the note actually be "caught" by the ball as opposed to just stored within it, that seems like an easy way to solve your problem.
    Mail! That's a wonderful idea. I'll have to try and slip it into my story somewhere, perhaps at some sort of trading festival. And on a quick re-read, I'm also definitely going to be utilizing the 'broken poke ball' as a method to move small messages as well. In my mind, they'd be like little magic storage devices, but when broken they would indeed just be hollow metal balls.

    But yeah, the particular place it would work would only really work for an otherwise empty poke ball. A rival had just handed off a number of balls to the main character before running off, and this is at pretty close to the very start of the story, so it wouldn't really make sense for him to have caught anything. Also, I've got a few different mechanics in consideration for catching that makes it much less easy than the games and anime seem to imply it would be, so it's not so simple a matter as 'tap that Rattata with the ball'. Although, I do enjoy the idea of catching a feral Pokemon in a ball along with a paper message, and then giving it over - it seems like a nice way to embolden your message if they're immediately accosted by an angry Ledian or something at the time.

    I've sort of decided to drop the idea, since it would overcomplicate and focus too much on the poke balls themselves. It would be nice for the above two situations, but they might warrant some sort of explanation with them, and that would detract from the flow of the story. However, I love hearing all these opinions and ideas of how people are working mechanics of Pokemon capture into their worlds! (Plus, reminding me of things I didn't recall, like apricot technology and overworld items - helpful!)
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    Well... poké balls have* to be able to contain items in some way, shape or form, don't they? How else do you explain your sneasel holding on to those blackglasses even after it's been recalled?
    Okay, fair, fair. To be perfectly explicit, the technology in pokéballs will work properly on humans, so you could theoretically capture one, but it's so energy-intensive as to be impossible to use on them in practice. Pokéballs can use the pokémon's own energy reserves (that allow them to do crazy things e.g. hyper beam) to power the conversion process, and there's enough excess that you can also cram fairly small, unrelated items in there with them as well. But if you were to just smack a pokéball against a potato or yourself or whatever, it wouldn't do anything because there isn't enough power to get the reaction going. The item storage system works on a principle analogous to pokéballs, but is only available over the PC storage system because you can hook up a large enough power supply to the computer to draw off in order to complete the transaction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Okay, fair, fair. To be perfectly explicit, the technology in pokéballs will work properly on humans, so you could theoretically capture one, but it's so energy-intensive as to be impossible to use on them in practice. Pokéballs can use the pokémon's own energy reserves (that allow them to do crazy things e.g. hyper beam) to power the conversion process, and there's enough excess that you can also cram fairly small, unrelated items in there with them as well. But if you were to just smack a pokéball against a potato or yourself or whatever, it wouldn't do anything because there isn't enough power to get the reaction going. The item storage system works on a principle analogous to pokéballs, but is only available over the PC storage system because you can hook up a large enough power supply to the computer to draw off in order to complete the transaction.
    I think an even simpler way to do this would be to decide that all Pokemon share some sort of common gene, or some combination/number of genes, and that modern poke balls are outfitted with a receptor that acknowledges that during the process of capture and thus proceeds to work. On the other hand, apricots, the older technology, also happened to do this, but it was a natural process that (insert explanation about how this is an evolutionary/adapting/survival trick - I can't think of one).

    The simplest way to explain items, I guess would be to say that the poke balls found scattered across the land are just gifts left by traveling trainers as a small joy for the next - a generational effort that rewards the pursuit and forms a greater sense of community. They would be in poke ball-like containers, not much bigger than a full-sized poke ball but perhaps Pokemon/animal repellant and square-bottomed to prevent rolling. Or you could have them as a modified, weaker-but-unable-to-store-life version of the poke ball, which would also work (and would be a good explanation of the results of Voltorb experiments).
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    I think an even simpler way to do this would be to decide that all Pokemon share some sort of common gene, or some combination/number of genes, and that modern poke balls are outfitted with a receptor that acknowledges that during the process of capture and thus proceeds to work. On the other hand, apricots, the older technology, also happened to do this, but it was a natural process that (insert explanation about how this is an evolutionary/adapting/survival trick - I can't think of one).
    I'm much more a biologist than a physicist, so I'm biased, so I think that explanation is about an order of magnitude harder to swallow than the one I proposed, just based on how actual genetic sequencing and gene signaling works. It raises the question of why you don't just stick some receptors to human whatevers instead of pokemon ones in there and voila. Same sort of issue with saying there's a filter of some sort at work.

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    Personally, I have a headcanon about Pokéballs utilizing essentially the same process of reconstruction that is naturally triggered during Pokémon evolution. (This would be why the anime shows both evolution and Pokéball send-out happen with a bright white light shaping into the Pokémon and then fading.) It works on objects, and Pokémon naturally have this happen to them so they're built in a way that can survive it unfazed, but if you tried the same thing on a human, it would just kill them. Souls exist and are a plot point in the QftL universe, so in there, the problem is specifically that Pokémon's bodies can keep a connection to their souls in disintegrated form, whereas humans' cannot. In the Morphic universe souls etc. are viewed pretty much the same way as they are in the real world, so there I'm just keeping it vague unless I think of some technobabble that actually makes it sound more plausible than it does without it. (Not that the fic ever brought it up in the first place or that any possible future fics in that universe would be likely to.)

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    The games once mentioned an "Item Ball." Outside the Safari Zone, a man tells you that the "Item Ball" in the cage is really a Pokemon. Still, that was a long time ago, and lots of little details have changes since Gen1.
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    (Sorry, I goofed and hit the submit button twice.)
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    Oh my god. This shiz. I've always wondered (and used for that matter) about this.

    It seems pretty obvious, at least to me, that a pokeball should be able to store things other then Pokemon. I used the simple explanation of "It turns them into energy and stores said energy into a ball."

    Teleportation is possible with pokemon, and given that they can dematerialize things and recompile them elsewhere, it makes you wonder...

    Still, according to the creators themselves, they want to have the audience understand that people in the Pokemon world have a completely different set of ideals and beliefs compared to us. They have no problem creating something as dangerous as a pokeball (something that can store anything) because they simply know that the general population wouldn't do anything harmful with it. Hell, as long as the trainer isn't to forceful with the pokemon, the Pokemon could get up and leave the pokeball on a moments notice. Drayden's words say it best "Just because you've capture a Pokemon in a pokeball doesn't mean you've caught its heart." This is supportated by the sinnoh myths, in which explain that pokemon pop out of tall grass usually to thank humans for their past help.

    The only reason this system wouldn't fall flat on its face is because the people in the pokemon world are generally responsible, caring, and very trusting. At the very least, that is what's shown to us. .-....

    Sorry about the tangent, but yeah, I do believe the pokeballs can be used to capture/hold items. And since the rules are somewhat vague, you can even play around with it. Thats what I do :P.
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