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DISCUSSION: The Hypnosis Question

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Hypnosis is a powerful pokémon move.

It has been established that pokémon moves can effect trainers and other citizens within a pokémon world in both the Manga, Anime and Games. So, with that in mind, what is stopping your average trainer forcing their opponent to lose via using a move such as hypnosis? Or on a more worrying level what is stopping a powerful or very evil trainer from using hypnosis to take over a region?

I am genuinely curious as to how other writers have handled this, and for those who haven't even considered the implications of this move and many more, I hope this opens up the discussion on move consequences.

My take on it is this - in my region using hypnosis on humans before the turn of the century (1900) was perfectly legal. However, a war between my two regions lead to it being made illegal as people were using it for awful and illegal means. This war lead to the cap on how powerful moves could be used. For example, earthquake. Of course, the big bad villains won't care about these laws, but counter forces have been put in place to prevent it.

My big question is: How do you plan on handling such an issue if it comes up in your stories and worlds? Are there any other moves you would consider to be threatening?
 
My project uses a mix of what we've seen in the anime with some of the mechanics of the games incorporated. That said, Hypnosis does have its weaknesses when it comes to controlling targets.

Let's use Malamar as an example since it is stated in the Pokedex as having mind-control abilities that are stronger than other Pokemon. Now, let's go to its debut episode and review what events occurred and what we can deduce from what we saw. A singular Malamar can control multiple individuals, as seen with how it controlled about 8 individuals in that episode. It can also control them for extended periods of time as shown with the Officer Jenny in that episode.

However, the Hypnosis has limits. Ash and Meowth were able to to defend against it by having Meowth scratch up both of their faces while the Hypnosis was being applied, which somehow disrupts the process and causes the move to fail. Hypnosis also seems to require time to fully take hold, as Meowth was able to react to the move and apply the scratching as previously stated. Ash and co also get out of this dire situation when Clemont's machine from earlier crashes into Malamar, which causes it to lose control of its victims. It would seem that the user of Hypnosis needs to retain some level of focus to maintain control over targets or at least precision control instead of just putting a target to sleep.

Drowzee and Hypno are also prominent users of Hypnosis. From what I remember from their debut episode the whole incident of disappearing children was an accident caused by lingering psychic energy from Drowzee and Hypno being used by a bunch of rich people to treat stress and insomnia. Misty subjects herself to Hypnosis later in the episode and we see that a more deliberate application requires both time and close distance to accomplish the same effect on someone (relatively) older, the other affected children looked very young.

Drowzee was also featured in one of Team Rocket's (not Jesse+James) schemes during the Orange Islands where it mass controlled a bunch of Pokemon but it was amped by technology and it only affected Pokemon. Not sure why it couldn't affect people. If you think about it logically, it would be more beneficial for Team Rocket to use Drowzee to take direct control of the trainers since they could still get the Pokemon and eliminate a potential threat. It could be because Butch+Cassidy are also kind of stupid but maybe some Psychic Pokemon have defined limits on who and what they can control.

Those are just some examples of the most notable users of Hypnosis. The move seems to have limits like needing time and close distance to be applied and the user to be able to maintain focus at all times to keep it active. That's pretty much how I plan to handle Hypnosis' limits when I get to that point. It's very unsuitable to attempt this against someone where there are other parties around (like a tournament) and against someone who is alert and currently has means to defend themselves (their Pokemon). People who are very quick on reaction or have the right mindset could even avoid it themselves by looking away (might explain the 60% accuracy it has in the games) or through self harm. It's much more suitable to use it on a trainer that is unprepared, doesn't have their Pokemon out and is done in relative privacy.

The criminals I thought up who do this do it for more personal matters than something as grand as world conquest. After all, drawing too much attention to yourself in a big display causes people to see what you're up to and assemble individuals who can and will stop you. It's like how big supervillains in comic books get teams of big superheroes like the Avengers or the Justice League to come after them when they start doing big heists or start blowing things up. On the other hand, individual villains or smaller groups doing smaller crimes tend to go unnoticed by those big and heavy hitters. The Purple Man from Marvel comics is a perfect example since he also has mind-control powers. He knows he'd be easily stopped if teams like the Avengers or the X-men come after him, which is why he prefers smaller crimes for immediate short-term gain instead of big, life setting crimes. And it often works for longer than you'd think, Purple Man has operated for years in some adaptations (like the Jessica Jones TV series) before anyone even catches wind of what he's doing. And all the while, he leaves broken lives and people everywhere he goes. He usually is stopped because someone like Daredevil or Jessica Jones figures out he's at large by Purple Man making a mistake or through the bad luck of targeting someone a superhero knows in their civilian persona.

As for other moves that could be dangerous in the wrong hands, one of the first to come to my mind is Explosion. Sure, it isn't lethal to the user but the move still turns the user into a walking bomb. Think about how dangerous real-life explosives are to humans and how easy they can be to deploy for mass casualties. Now, take those explosives and make them into Pokemon. You've got living, sentient bombs that can literally walk around in plain sight with no-one being the wiser. Pokemon like the Geodude line could even be buried into the ground and commanded to use Explosion when certain targets approach, effectively turning them into landmines. Sure, Pokemon who actually know Explosion may not be easy to get in large amounts but what if it was possible through ahem certain devices we should be all familiar with?
 
As for other moves that could be dangerous in the wrong hands, one of the first to come to my mind is Explosion. Sure, it isn't lethal to the user but the move still turns the user into a walking bomb. Think about how dangerous real-life explosives are to humans and how easy they can be to deploy for mass casualties. Now, take those explosives and make them into Pokemon. You've got living, sentient bombs that can literally walk around in plain sight with no-one being the wiser. Pokemon like the Geodude line could even be buried into the ground and commanded to use Explosion when certain targets approach, effectively turning them into landmines. Sure, Pokemon who actually know Explosion may not be easy to get in large amounts but what if it was possible through ahem certain devices we should be all familiar with?

Yeah Explosion and self destruct I dealt with by making it military move only. Civillians with access to said moves are arrested. I wonder how people who are writing fics primarily based in Johto manage this issue because they have access to quite a few pokémon with these moves.
 
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