Can’t get enough of Philippine-inspired Pokemon contents? Then look no further. Last time, we have featured the incredible artworks of Dyzll and today, we will bring you something bigger. Join me as we venture to the tropical country of the Bayan Region.
*Disclamer: The photos used in this blog are owned by the creator and her team. All of the credits goes to them.*
Most likely, fans around the world have dreamed of making their own fictional pokemon worlds (based from their own countries). Well Ms. Jasmine Grace Abraham is no exemption.
She was a self-taught artist who made it a hobby of drawing our local wildlife, rich culture and mythology as fakemons. Said few years back, she even used to watch tutorials from Youtube on how to make Pokemon Fan Games.
Finally in 2018, together with her crew (The ELID Team), they have made her dream a reality by launching their debut post in Instagram.
Ms. Jasmine’s perseverance and patriotism can be depicted from this world map as you zoom in and examine the intricate and well detailed features of the region.
Formerly known as the “Filipinz”, the Bayan Region was directly inspired from our country (Philippines) itself. With its wide range of mountains and foliage, the archipelago has been considered a paradise for its endemic species and local folks.
From here on, we will get to explore what beauty this region has to offer. From its lore and legends to its one of a kind inhabitants, get ready to be amazed as we dive in deepeer.
With the official title, “Pokemon Eternal Light and Infernal Dark”, the art and storyline of the game managed to capture the hearts of our fellow Filipinos and even our friends from overseas.
With hundreds (or probably) thousands of pokemon fan arts and games all across the globe, it may seem impossible to create an almost original concept (given the fact that these ‘mons were already out there for more than two decades) but Ms. Jasmine proved that her creativity and passion was limitless.
It may be far from completion (though the demo might be released by 2021) but still, here are the cliche and new stuffs you’d find interesting in the region:
A. THE LOCALS
Who welcomes you to the world of pokemon the moment you open your eyes in the game? Yep, you’ve got that right: none other than the Professor.
Could have either been a pattern or a tradition but we all know that in every pokemon story, the brilliant minds behind the regional research were all named after trees/plants. And Bayan Region won’t miss it for the world. We have Prof. (Alejandro) Narra who was obviously derived from our very own weather man, Kuya Kim Atienza.
With the common question: “Are you a boy? Or a girl?”, a journey of a thousand mile will only start by taking the first step in one’s journey. And who are the protagonist(s) of the story? Meet Drei and Oria who were also inspired from our Katipunan heroes. Joining them are their bestfriends, Jasmine and Buko (also known as rivals from the original games).
Plus we’d also get to see some familiar faces like the Filipino versions of Nurse Joy (and hopefully officer Jenny) and tons of other NPCs who’d always remind us of home.
B. THE EVIL ORGANIZATION
Now we all know that an adventure ain’t a walk in the park. Obstacles and struggles can either be caused by natural phenomena or deeds of a sinister group.
Enter Team Techno, a technologically advanced society (led by a man named Anon) known for manufacturing techno-mons and sometimes, turning local creatures to obedient, ruthless machines.
With the assistance of a new developed item called the “Stim Drive”, it stimulates the capability of a certain pokemon, enhancing their abilities, changing their forms and allowing them to evolve to an advance version of themselves.
C. THE POKEMONS
What’s an adventure without companion? That’s were our buddies come in. From the traditional trio of starters, we get to pick one from the main poketypes.
Meet Bintukit, the grass type which was inspired from a Palawan Binturong (bear cat), a cute lil fella but a furious forest dweller in its final form. Then we have Calfin, the water type who looked like a cross breed between a (water) buffalo and a fish, an adorable baby but a strong wave rider in its final state. And lastly, Agulit, the fire type, a sweet looking avian with a massive burning power in its final evolution. It’s an obvious reference to our Philippine Eagle (but could also be compared to a Minokawa or the Phoenix from other myths).
There are tons of other Filipino inspired critters from the Bayan Region dex. Although I cannot really include everything here but I’d share a few (which you’d also see once you visit their Instagram account).
We have other fakemon designs which strikes a huge resemblance to a Tilapia, a Lechon (roasted pig), Aswang (Phil myth monster), rich minerals and more.
And with the never-ending development of the franchise over the years, we get to see some changes from game mechanics to other pokemon gimmicks. So here are some of the things that the Bayan Region adapted from the original source:
1. GENDER DIFFERENCE
Some are obvious while others were very hard to spot but the designs and evolutions between male and female pokemons have been present from the first few generations.
In the Bayan region, we get to witness how an egg-like creature named “Chiklog” evolved to two variants. A female grows into “Inahen” which could be an alternative to Chansey or Blissey. These pokemons can be commonly seen in centers assisting nurse Joy. While we have the male versions named “Tandong”, fearsome avian fighters who were used for traditional sports in the region (an obvious reference to “Sabong” or cock fights).
2. REGIONAL VARIANTS
Popularized way back in generation 7, regional variants made noises out of fans. Positive and negative comments were floating all over the internet about the changes in the original ‘mon designs but nevertheless, it was a brilliant pokegimmick.
I mean, what were the odds that some pokemons were different from what we already know? Adaptation was an essential aspect for survival so it wasn’t really that surprising to find these familiar pokemons in various habitats.
So far, the only regional variant fakemon that was released by the ELID Team was a techno Zubat. And according to its dex entry, this one’s a native to the Bayan region so one can actually tell whether it was a man-made ‘mon or something else.
On the other hand, Ms. Jasmine announced that the photos of these Shellos and Gastrodons were the missing pieces of the puzzle. They were the undiscovered versions of the species we’ve encountered way back in generation 4.
Techically speaking, those pokemons mentioned above were not entirely regional variants but since they were inspired by existing works, I have considered them otherwise.
3. EXCLUSIVE POKEMONS
Another notable feature (from previous games) were the exclusive contents one would encounter depending on the version they have chosen.
Few ‘mons were already released by Ms. Jasmine and her team. Starting with Hibibi (inspired from the Hibiscus/Gumamela flowers) and its evolution line who were Eternal Light exclusives and Mushini (which is obviously a mushroom) and its evolution line from the Infernal Dark version.
Another exclusive duo of fakemons from this region were the butterfly-like ‘mons, Dandela (from EL) and Nuiluna (from ID) which you may wanna check out from their existing posts in Instagram.
D. AND A WHOLE LOT MORE
Yep. More surprises are coming our way, like the introduction of a new type: Light. We’d also get to see new abilities, forms and more. Even the region’s most anticipated Gym Leaders, Elite 4 and Champion are yet to be revealed.
What roles are they going to play that will affect the entire storyline? What are the possible legendary pokemons of the Bayan Region? What secret areas would be accessible? Those are just few questions waiting to be answered.
Now for the highlight of the blog, I’ve asked the creator herself some things we don’t really get to see from her updates. Here’s our lil Q & A:
“Who’s your favorite among the Bayan region starters and why? How about your overall favorite from your creations?“
“Oh my… haha that’s hard! They are all like children to me. For the starters… I’d pick Calfin because chonky. Not just that but the design (water buffalo). I’ve mixed an aquatic (fish-like) appearance with a bull because I found it funny and creative. For the Overall mons… It’s so difficult to choose, either Frosteer or Baboink.“
“Why did you choose the concept of light and dark for your PKMN game/lore? Do you intend to add more types aside from light (e.g sound, cosmic, etc)?“
“I’ve picked the Light and Dark concept because there’s no Heaven vs Hell thing in OG (original) games.
I also find it very interesting. Light and Darkness is to show dualism. It’s also an inspiration from DMC and Bayonetta (Demons and Angels) those are my fave games.
Hmm… and adding more types may confuse the audience and lost of interest so we picked one basic type.“
“Professor Narra was obviously inspired from Kuya Kim Atienza but how about Prof. Aster, Luciano or even Pres Ernesto? Is there any particular individual whom you’ve drawn inspirations from?”
“Prof.Aster is an old OC (original character) of mine haha also Aster is a flower I saw back then, they’re quite pretty. Same goes for Luciano and Ernesto however, Luciano is also based from our country’s religion Roman Catholic (Spanish era and from the name Lucius meaning Light).“
“Since Bayan region was inspired from our own country, is there a chance you’d also feature other endemic animals (such as Tarsiers) and famous landmarks (like Banaue Rice Terraces) from the Philippines?“
“Yes! There’s a Tarsier ‘mon we’ve made but it hasn’t been revealed yet. There’s also a Buntanding (whale shark), tokay gecko, tamaraw and more. Speaking of tamaraw, Terrarao was based from Tamaraws and Rice farm.
“Was the whole concept of the game already finished? Like you’ve already planned out everything from beginning til the end, including the events, pokemons and characters in the storyline? Or they are still subjected to change?”
“The story of the game is finished and I’m just polisihing them. While the fakemons are still WIP (work in progress) since we need to add and draw more ‘mons to finish the dex.“
“What is your message to your fans/followers out there who’s been patiently waiting and supporting you through your journey?“
“Thank you for the patience, love and support. We hope that you’ll love it and have fun when the game’s released. Battle on, Trainers!“
We know that there’s a bunch of great pokemon fan games out there, may it be hacked ROMs or playable on another platform. But this Filipino inspired one is something we can really be proud of.
In the eyes of many, this may seemed inappropriate since the game was an imitation from Nintendo and Game Freak but God knows how long Ms. Jasmine and her team have been developing this project. They have exerted a huge amount of effort, time and patience to make this possible so please, let us still support our very own. Support the game today, specially once it’s released.
By the way, if you guys love this review, be sure to leave a like and comment. And for people interested with viewing more of the ELID Team’s overall projects, you can look for “Bayan Region” in Facebook and Instagram. And you’d also see more of their (excusive) contents once you join their Discord channel.
Spread the love and word. Share this review and the project to your friends. Peace out! Til next review!