I'm sure your 8 year old self has pictured this many a time after watching/playing the iconic kids show and Gameboy game, but now (with adult sentiments) we're truly imagining, what if Montreal was a Pokemon game?
Sounds strange, but when you think about it, Montreal and the old school Pokemon games (we're talking red and blue here) have a lot in common.
In Pokemon and Montreal, no one would bat an eye if there was an 11 year old running through the streets at any hour of the day/night, Misty's outfit is already pretty hipster, and the city's riot police already use the slogan "gotta catch 'em all."
So we've let our nerdy imaginations run wild, and created PokeMontreal: Smoked Meat & Poutine editions.
The World of PokeMontreal
With the Poke-switch, Montreal's many boroughs would become small Poke-districts, each with their own gym and dominant poke-features, much like the Kanto region in the OG Poke-games. Here's how things would look.
- Laval = Pallet Town, you start out here because pretty much any teenager who lives in Laval wants to peace out and head into Montreal.
- Ville Marie = Celadon City, pretty much because the Celadon Department store is like the Eaton Centre/Les Cours Mont Royal.
- The Village = an area where trainers would use fairy type Pokemon... Well, I don't think I need to explain that one.
- Olympic Stadium = The Indigo Plateau, where you take down the Montreal Elite Four, of which Coderre is the leader, obviously.
- Old Port = Cerulean City, it's right by the water, perfect for Misty's water-types.
- McGill = Lavender Town, since there has to be some ghosts wandering about, what with all of James McGill's slaves supposedly buried underneath the campus
- Mont Royal = Pokemon Tower, that place near Lavender Town where you need to fight a bunch of people. The mountain's close to McGill, and can't you just picture many an impromptu battle on the swirling path to the top?
- The Plateau= Saffron City, the psychic-type city, because out of all the hipsters, artists, and generally strange people walking around, a chunk of them need to be self-proclaimed psychics/spiritualists.
- Berri-UQAM Station= Viridian City, there was a Pokemon School, so its pretty fitting.
- Crescent Street = The Safari Zone, because all the drunk tourists/old people are the equivalent of wild Pokemon.
- Griffintown = Vermillion City, basically because electric-types would fit with the whole industrial vibe. Also, it's by the water so you can take the SS Anne.
- Mile End = No real correlation, but all the hipster-trainers would use Pokemon you've never heard of...
The 'Mon of PokeMontreal
We're purists, so we're sticking to the original 151 (you need to include Mew) for PokeMontreal, largely due to years of debauchery making our brains unable to remember God knows how many Pokemon there are now. Of course, there would be some unique 'mon for our MTL-version.
The Starters: Every game begins with your choice of one of three Pokemon, always a fire, grass, and water type. Sticking to tradition, here are PokeMontreal's three starter Pokemon.
- Habsifan - the cute baby Habs fan Pokemon, water/ice type, evolves into HabsMantis then Canadienite (Ice/Fighting).
- Blazer - the Tam Tams stoner Pokemon, fire type, evolves into Dealer then Supplier (Fire/Dark).
- Jardine - the Montreal community gardens Pokemon, grass type, evolves into Jardinor then MontRoyalus (Grass/Ground).
Special Editions: There need to be Pokemon specific to each game, how else will Nintendo maximize profits? These are the exclusive 'mon of PokeMontreal: Smoked Meat & Poutine, respectively.
- PetitPoutinasaur - the small sized poutine Pokemon, drunchie type, evolves into LaTaquisosaurus Rex (we all know that's the best thing on La Banquise's menu)
- LilWilensky - the deli sandwich Pokemon, cured meat type, evolves into Schwartzinator
- PKchu - Remember Pokemon Yellow, the re-release that had nothing new in it but a Pikachu that followed you around? Well that's what PokeMontreal: Suban Edition would have, with a PKchu (a Pikachu decked out in Habs gear) always right behind you.
Like every Pokemon game, you're a young boy/girl who, for God knows what reason, is allowed to venture out into the world all alone, where there are wildly dangerous animals and strangers looking to fight you just by making eye contact at the age of 11.
You want to be PokeMontreal master, yadda yadda, and so head outta Laval/Pallet Town and into the Poke-scene of Montreal.
Your next door neighbor makes it their personal mission to be a complete douchebag and annoy you randomly throughout your journey, but thankfully, you've got enough going on to keep occupied and relatively not pissed off.
Early on in your journey you run into the one of two groups, depending on which version you bought, who are the main villains of the game:
- Team OQLF - a fanatical Poke-group seeking to demolish all Anglophones and brainwashing all Pokemon to say their names in French.
- Team MTLBlog - a ragtag bunch of drunks and stoners with bad grammar who want to eradicate the French language in Montreal, they just haven't figured out how yet. Classic MTL Blog, am I right?
Anyway, you battle them a few times here and there, as you work your way through the gyms/districts of PokeMontreal.
After you beat the Elite Four, you face-off against each group's respective leader for a final showdown: Mme Marois & Rob Ford, the latter being true ringleader behind MTL Blog, which, if you think about it, makes a lot of sense.
You have to save the day, since any competent form of police force is nowhere to be seen, as is usually the case in Pokemon (and Montreal most times) and all is good in PokeMontreal. Cue end game credits.