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The Poké Ball.

kyeugh

shitty wizard
Pronoun
she/her
The Poké Ball.

After stumbling across a thread in veekun's forums, I figured I would make one here. How do Poké Balls work? What do they consist of? There's a lot of theories on this, but none of them can be proven correct until someone official canonizes it. So, how do you think it works?

Originally said by me at veekun
*pokes thread*

It was always of my assumption that the Pokémon were, in fact, converted into a plasma-esque form, but there's a bit more to it. Let's talk about the inside of a PokéBall for a moment. It's described as a capsule, and the inside is decorated with mirrors.

Keep in mind that there's likely not a real explanation for this, that the creators just put it in for the cool factor and never really thought it through. This is basically my two cents. Furthermore, Pokémon doesn't really abide by what we consider possible or scientifically accurate. Keep that in mind as well.

So. The Pokémon are converted to a state (let's call it an energetic state, for the time being) where they are, more or less, some kind of plasma. Don't forget that Pokémon are not, in essence, dead within the Poké Ball. They are capable of thinking and even moving, hence Pokémon being able to break free of their Poké Balls when being captured, or in other situations (Jessie's Wobuffet says hi). So Pokémon are fully conscious and even have a bit of physical power in this state, it looks like. Even more curious is that after a Pokémon breaks free of a Poké Ball (before being caught) the Poké Ball is rendered useless; however, if it breaks free of its Poké Ball /after/ being caught, it can go back into it. Furthermore, the Poké Balls of released Pokémon are discarded. Thus, this energetic state must contain the DNA of the Pokémon embodying it, which is why a Poké Ball can only capture one Pokémon at a time; the DNA is recognized by the capsule and locks everything else out.

When the Pokémon are converted to this energetic state, it looks like they bounce around inside the Poké Ball (hence the mirrors) until they're released. Hypothetically, a Pokémon would be able to break free from the capsule by breaking the mirrors; after a Pokémon is captured, it's probably able to escape without the destruction of the capsule, but the majority of them don't for some reason.

Also note that the Pokémon is withdrawn into the Poké Ball when the Ball's button is pressed; it's of my opinion that the Poké Ball uses some kind of component of the Pokémon's DNA to convert it to an energetic state and cause it to come back into the ball. That way, it's unique to the Pokémon in question and no other Pokémon can enter the Ball.

TL;DR Pokémon get turned into plasma and bounce around their Poké Ball using the internal mirrors.
EDIT: Here's a diagram of a Poké Ball used for reference in the anime.
 

Murkrow

Says "also" and "or something" a lot
Re: The Poké Ball.

I'm never quite sure what to think about how they're stored. as you say they're most likely conscious a lot of the time they're in there, but I've also always considered them to be stored in pretty much the same way when they're in the PC. But I don't think they're conscious when they're there!

But then there's the question of how the PC works. It doesn't just store the Pokémon, it stores the ball too. It could just be that they all get sent back to the professor like in the anime (or maybe whoever owns the PC system in the region) but then that would mean that PC is just a teleporter.

In short, I have no idea.
Loads of questions need to answered! What makes apricorns special? Why do Pokémon like luxury balls? Are premier balls just poké balls painted white?

Also in Colosseum and XD it seems that since you need a special machine to convert into snag balls that your inability to capture already caught Pokémon is built into the balls themselves. Something must be done to the Pokémon so that other balls know not to catch it. (and Origins helps with this theory since that youngster's Nidoran was protected by some sort of forcefield when Red tried to catch it)
 

Storm Earth and Fire

Would you like to make a contract?
Re: The Poké Ball.

Are premier balls just poké balls painted white?
Oho, but the Pokemon world is not free of marketing ploys. I'm sure they can color Poke Balls whatever color they want, it's just that usually this is indicative of function, probably derived from how different colored apricorns turned into Poke Balls of varying function. Someone just figured it was a good way to get people to buy a bunch of Poke Balls at once. Unfortunately, they didn't take into account the fact that being a trainer is an extremely well-paying profession for one such as the protagonist.

On the main topic, it's possible that Pokemon are, by virtue of their construction or biology, actually capable of shapeshifting into that blob of light we see on the show or in the games. If that's the case, and this is actually them turning into a different state of matter, such as plasma, then this explains why everything fits into a capsule the side of a baseball (and shrinks into a ping pong ball nonetheless!). However, this might be dangerous enough that Pokemon never really assumed it naturally. The apricorns have some sort of mechanism inside that can contain this form. It's probably just the material they are made from, but it might also be something that artisans like Kurt stuck inside, similar to the mirrored surfaces we find in modern Poke balls. Synthetics and all that nowadays.

With the advent of computers, though, I think what they have really done, based on depictions in the show, is construct those machines you see them put the Poke balls in so they are zapped off to god knows where in the PC. It's not really explained in much in the show, though, they seem to show them being teleported elsewhere (like to Prof. Oak's lab). When a Poke Ball catches a Pokemon, what might happen is that the Pokemon is tagged with it's original trainer. This may run the mechanism that stops you from tossing them to catch another trainer's Pokemon, and why in XD and Colosseum they need the snag machine.

If anyone's watched Best Wishes, there's an episode where the interior of a Poke ball is shown. It's kinda for a gag, but it's what we have to go off of. Pretty sparse, but alive for sure.

And maybe this is what Luxury Balls are.
 

kyeugh

shitty wizard
Pronoun
she/her
Re: The Poké Ball.

Let's take another relatively unexplained utensil in the Pokémon world-- the Mega Charm. I made a theory on how they worked a bit ago, but I never put it online; anyway, it's unrelated. Let's just say that the Key Stones that Mega Charms contain send out a special type of radio wave that react to a mineral component that's shared by all Mega Stones. It's quite possible that Poké Balls do something to a similar effect; all Pokémon might have a cellular makeup that causes them to revert to a plasmatic state when exposed to a specific radio wave. Perhaps this is the effect of the button being pressed on a Poké Ball. It would make sense that pushing the button emitted these waves that were capable of converting all Pokémon into a plasmatic state. Ghetsis' cane that disabled Poké Ball use may have actually been a kind of a lightningrod for these waves.

Furthermore, the reason that some Pokémon are harder to catch than others might actually be the result of natural selection. Perhaps the chemical that allows them to turn to a plasmatic state is less plentiful, etc. None of this can be said for sure.

EDIT: As for PCs, I believe it's mentioned somewhere that the Pokémon are actually turned into data. It's quite obvious this isn't the case with Poké Balls, however.
 

LadyJirachu

Judgemental people GTFO
Pronoun
she/her
So....the best wishes episode shows the pokeball's inside as like a boring space where the pokemon just sits there? o.o;;

Geeee, it must be awesome to go out into battle after dealing with that xD; haha...(pokemon once again is such an interesting series. seriously)
 

IndigoEmmy

Happy Togekiss
Pronoun
she/her
Smash Bros Melee described it as like a little home. I always imagine it as like a little place with pillows but a luxury ball has a mattress too as the floor and then the friend ball is just full of pictures of the trainer and then the master ball is just metal on all sides.
 

myuma

Flowers. So many of the same. So many unneeded.
Pronoun
they/them
My opinion is that some sort of supernatural or psychic energy "seals" the Pokemon into the Pokeball. The Pokemon is converted to a spirit version of itself, which the PC can interpret as data, hence storing the Pokemon in digital format. Pokemon aren't conscious while inside Pokeballs or the PC.

What else do Pokeballs do to a 'mon? I always found this dialogue from B2W2, said by the Shadow Triad, interesting:

"I stole this Pokémon five years ago in Aspertia. So it seems likely that it is the Pokémon you're talking about. But now, it only listens to my commands. Such is the fate of Pokémon that are trapped in Poké Balls!"

"Ah... I feel sorry for Pokémon. They're ruled by Poké Balls and the whims of their Trainers... Lord Ghetsis spoke of Pokémon liberation two years ago simply for his own ambitions, but... If his plans had succeeded, many Pokémon would have been saved. This Liepard--well, you knew it as a Purrloin--if it had been released, it might have returned to you. Well then..."
Then again, they're antagonists and part of Team Plasma, so we don't know if Pokeballs really do brainwash Pokemon to listen to trainers as this implies. Seeing as Pokemon won't obey you if they are too high a level, perhaps what they're saying isn't entirely correct...
 

IndigoEmmy

Happy Togekiss
Pronoun
she/her
You know, despite a lot of theories and fanfiics and stuff i've read/seen (I'm talking about you Quest for the legends), i've always kind of imagined PC boxes and you just put your pokéball inside, and choose what pokémon to switch out, and then your pokéball that previously had, a, let's say Altaria, would instead have a Talonflame once you selected a Talonflame. (Wow run on sentence).

I've always imagined that pokéballs somehow store pokémon as data somehow but i never really thought through it.

As for Obeying trainers, I don't think it's against the pokémon's free will - I think the pokéballs calm it down a bit, but I don't think it brainwashes them.
 

LadyJirachu

Judgemental people GTFO
Pronoun
she/her
Pokeballs DO NOT brainwash pokemon!!! Pokemon like battling and competing. I can understand some non-fans being a bit confused, but actual pokemon followers....

I mean, i have shown un-easy re-actions to fictional fighting before (admitedly), so maybe i shouldn't point too many fingers. But pokemon means a lot to me, so hearing any anti-pokemon like responses from other fans is a bit triggering for me....plus i crush on a fighting type gym leader like really badly lol </3

EDIT: IRRONICALLY, though, i have been always quite fond of N. not all my reasons have been pokemon related, though....try reading through this post carefully and you'll get my point

Again, though; I....I really like the pokemon franchise as a whole. In a way, it confuses me how much. So maybe its best I not question the anti posts so much, in all honesty. But I do have a connection to the series, I guess. I know its confusing.
 

IndigoEmmy

Happy Togekiss
Pronoun
she/her
I totally agree. Why would pokéballs brainwash pokémon. Now i can't speak for team rocket or any other team who might actually try to brainwash pokémon.

Keep in mind they aren't anti-pokémon it's more of a spew out random theories as we are thinking i think it's a thought process thing i think.

I'm sorry Jirachu, and i don't think me or anyone else meant to offend you. i'm sorry. :c
also N is probably the most complecated coolest character second only to Zinnia.

I don't believe that pokéballs brainwash pokémon and i don't think any fan of the series would. maybe someone who doesn't know much though, idk?

Again, i apologize jirachu.
 

LadyJirachu

Judgemental people GTFO
Pronoun
she/her
Its okay indigo emmy :) It helps i have a side that doesn't like fighting much (maybe more like 'is squeemish'. its a girly girl thing?), to kinda keep me calm overall about all this. Although that side's been.....dying down a bit, its still kinda part of my history *shrug* Its nice to feel calm overall.
 
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