Which would be better narratively, a friendly and competitive rival that is manipulated to the dark side, or a rival that is evil from the beginning but reveals it towards the climax of a story. As a bonus question, how would you go about creating a rival.
How about a rival that actually, you know, acts like a rival?
Someone who keeps trying to be better than you, even though you repeatedly beat them?
GF has had a weird habit of writing in antagonists or rival-archetype characters who resign way too easily that they aren't as good as you.
At the risk of sounding like a nostalgia-fag, Blue actually made you feel like you deserved your wins, but you were scared and excited for the next time he would show up because you know he would give you another challenge.
N kind of captured some of this in B/W, but on the intimidating front was less so due to his changing team composition.
I actually think it'd be great if GF didn't game-over the player if you lost against your rival in the next game, and changed the story and his team accordingly depending on your battle history.
how about the rival is the one who gets first pick of pokemon, gets pokedex first, gets showered in items, beats you to all the gyms and halfway through the game he becomes champion and closes all the gyms before you can finish collecting badges
I liked Barry as a friend more than Wally as a friend, and Gary as a rival more than Wally as a rival. I think what I'd like is to see a good friend who can match you get too absorbed in the rivalry and for the two of you to drift apart before a final climax brings you back together.
Like if Wally, instead of being a meak push over, transitioned into Barry, then Gary, then Silver. Going from too weak to help himself, to excessively eager to do absolutely everything himself, to kind of a hyper competative ass, to way too preoccupied with compensating through strength, to finally down to earth and a good friend again.
I once came up with a pretty cool concept for this.
You start off with a friendly rival, your neighbor. He's kinda like Wally in the sense that he's kinda weak, but he wants to get stronger. Throughout the beginning of the game you guys often meet up and hang out.Then you meet another trainer. He's your standard Gary-type dick: he thinks he's the baddest motherfucker, laughs at your shitty friend, etc. He's after the evil team for some reason. Maybe because he can? I don't know. You come across him a few times. The evil team is one kinda like Plasma in the sense that they hold public speeches and shit. You and your friend hear a few of these. Of course everything they say is bullshit, but your friend is acting kinda weird. Maybe they do have a point? As you go along your journey you keep seeing your friend less and less.
Then, somewhere around the 5th gym, you infiltrate the evil team base or something, and as you fight the admins, you learn of the new recruit. At the end it's revealed to be your friend, who got persuaded by their ideals and thinks this is the way to become stronger. You fight him, but afterwards the leader appears, you get BTFO and are left behind. Then the dick rival sees you after getting BTFO and takes you to a pokemon center. He patches you up and you tell him what happened, he's furious. At this point you learn that while still being hotheaded and brash, but he actually has a good moral code and solid beliefs. At this point you decide to work together to take the evil team down and he becomes a total bro.
TL;DR You have both a friendly and a dick rival, but halfway through the game the two switch roles.
The whole "i was evil all along" thing works best in something a little more dramatic than pokemon. And what I mean by that is, even with the ultimate laser, the villain decides not to use it because he just lost a pokemon battle to a kid.
I do believe friend turns evil could be done to great effect in pokemon however. Resentment from losing every battle starts to push you two apart. You are never too young for a bitter sweet ending.
My ideal rival would be one that pushes me as a trainer, as well as develop as a character.
Like a Shirlock Holmes;
Smart, strong, witty, and most of all unpredictable. Starts off seemingly cold and uninterested. Like they know they are all ready going to win before you battle. But when you win, they say nothing. After another battle less than a route away there are no words, but the trainer notices the rival smiles. Revealing over time that you are the one who made them enjoy battling again. Slowly getting smarter after every loss.
And just to keep you sharp, they will mix it up a bit some how: using a different team, double/triple battles, using one over leveled pokemon, having items for one battle, etc.
And of course they're the champion, they want to fight you at the height of your power.
Finally you don't meet them until a few badges in. Like somewhere after the second. To the point that they could be mistaken for any other trainer, but less generic.
>I actually think it'd be great if GF didn't game-over the player if you lost against your rival in the next game, and changed the story and his team accordingly depending on your battle history.
Me too, they actually did this in Yellow. If you lost a lot, his Eevee would end up a Vaporeon for example.