In-Depth Stories

Clothing is taking over the Pokémon world

Cast away your hats, Trainer, lest you fall under control of these parasites!

I fear it is already too late, but I must try to document my findings somewhere. Years ago people laughed… but now they are falling victim to the same threat.

I found out the reason for the successes for all those new Champions that have cropped up of late. And it’s not some secret training regime or techniques. These aren’t a bunch of child geniuses that just happened to spring up these last few years.

It’s their hats.

And now they’re being mass-sold to us.

To begin with, I’ll establish to you that the most affected of our Trainers do indeed wear hats. Just look for yourself at these images of all these Champions.

All of these Trainers have held the rank of Champion.

Now, consider the fact that each one wears a hat, or a piece of headwear. That sneaky May of Hoenn tried to fool the untrained eye with her bandana. But that in itself is a form of headwear, and I’ve my suspicions of her too. Take Brendan of Hoenn – although it may not be obvious from afar, he is actually wearing a pretty weird hat of his own. And let me ask you – who has ever seen a hat like that anyway? And out of all of the recent challengers of the Elite Four across the world, those who were successful – and able to hold the title of Champion for over five minutes – were the Trainers who wore hats.

But, you may very well ask, what does a hat have to do with anything, such as your ability to have Pokémon battles? Whatever is significant about that? Well, look at it this way – how many current Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, or previous Champions, wear hats at all, let alone all the time?

The answer is, unsurprisingly, small – there’s 23 out of over 100 of them from the last few decades. After all, these people battle indoors frequently. You have a few exceptions like Blaine, Wallace, and Drake, but that is it and they otherwise act like the rest. So to have all of the new Champions have hats… Statistically, this is a major outlier, one you cannot explain away by mere coincidence.

But now consider this: with these new Champions, you don’t see these Trainers removing their hat often at all, do you? Sometimes it even seems they hold onto their hat as much as possible…

Every conversation this Trainer has, he’s clutching onto the hat. But why?

So what if the reason they’re so good, the reason why these kids have suddenly trounced through their respective Leagues, and cleaned up various criminal teams to boot, is because of their hats?

What if… the hats are actually controlling them?

Hear me out, please. I promise this is not a tinfoil, uh, hat theory – besides, given what I’m about to tell you, I’d stay far away from hats of any kind.

What are these hats? In truth, I do not know. Are they a new form of Pokémon? Or something else? I wouldn’t even dare trying to get one to try and find out. But for sake of comparison, I think they act rather like the mushroom that controls the Parasect. A parasite, that has complete control over the host. And there’s many reasons why I feel this is a reasonable guess. And in a world such as ours, I don’t think this is too unrealistic a concept.

Reason number one: these Trainers barely speak, if ever. Much like how Parasect is rather lifeless and doesn’t do much beyond basic functions, these people are less sociable than a shy Wobbuffet tail. Just check any of the interviews with the characters. The most you can get out of them is a couple words, and they only really shout a couple words of instruction to their Pokémon at most. They’ve been seen to say Yes and No in responses to questions, but beyond that, what they say doesn’t make much sense.

Even when the question doesn’t call for a yes-no response…

And this is the case for all the new Champions, and only the ones wearing hats, besides Champion Leon. He can talk just fine, but worryingly can get very lost as well. Funny how it’s only they that cannot talk, unlike every other Gym Leader or Champion, huh? Even Blue, who makes the title, got beaten straight away by the soundless Red. While he had a good rant after losing, Red just silently walked away with Oak and got inducted into the Hall of Fame. The reason I propose for this is that the hat is not a perfect controller. It cannot quite fully make the Trainer do everything, hence why they are for the most part mute.

Nobody normal says this.

Reason number two: the Trainers appear to seek out challenge and danger. Stuff that nobody else dared to. Think about it. Red, for instance, stood up to Team Rocket. So did the Johto Champions. And you all know who was responsible for the sudden downfall of the other villain teams in Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and Alola? That’s right, the rest of the Champions. Could it be that the hats are merely trying to wipe out those who pose a threat to them, large groups with power and sway in their regions? It is a most curious coincidence, that every new Champion had gone and seemingly brought down entire organisations singlehandedly. How much do these hats know about mastering Pokémon battles? Well, I’m afraid the record of these Champions speak for themselves… and remember, these are by and large children, beating the best of the best in their region.

Reason number three: even ignoring the above, they still don’t act normally. This is a common theme behind each of them. Beyond their supposed friendships with their Pokémon, they can be at best described as people devoid of personality. Take Red again. What did he do after becoming Champion, after being declared the best Trainer in the region? Why, he went to Mt. Silver for three years. And stood at the top. Without saying a word. Now that’s hardly normal.

He was not once heard to speak. Furthermore, there’s hardly much to eat on the top of Mt. Silver, and often it is covered in snow. Could any normal person survive there? Maybe, if they weren’t in the right frame of mind, so to speak. The only time he did move was when the Champions from Johto made their way there… a worrying sign, if anything.

What other reason is there for him to do such a thing? Maybe the “hat” controlling him simply want to achieve such a status, and was unsure how to keep the charade upon completion in this case. There’s more odd behaviour too, from the strange interviews with these Champions, to their unnerving capture of every Legendary Pokémon. You name it, they caught it – from gods of the sun and rain, to those wielding power over time and space. And right there is the main cause for my concern. Never mind that there’s Trainers controlled by hats, it’s the potential reason behind that, and the dangerous spread of those hats.

Oh, you thought they were the only ones? I have reason to believe otherwise. There are other lesser Trainers who exhibit similar behaviours, the likes of which we have not seen until now. One case that has been documented lately involves the ramblings of a poor child recently under the hold of a hat parasite, starting to lose all vocabulary beyond yelling ‘Rattata’.

He proceeds to rave about how his Rattata is in the top percentage of Rattata… even if it’s evolved.

But this is hardly the worst of it – I fear multiple regions are under threat. Kalos stood out as the first one where clothing stores popped up across all towns and cities. It used to be that Pokémon Centres and Marts were all a town had to have, and perhaps a Pokémon Gym as well. But now these seem to be essential parts too!

How many reports have we seen of people forking over thousands of dollars on clothes? Where did this come from? And why is there a shop that only sells hats? And every such shop happens to sell hats. Suspicious… And while people can go and change hats, you just don’t see these Trainers removing them outright. Ever.

Pick a parasite.

The only time you see the afflicted without their hats is when they have a haircut, and then it’s nowhere near long enough for the victim to recover out of their state. They remain frozen, motionless, and utterly unresponsive until the hat is returned. It’s clear – the hats are swapped in regular intervals so they can all survive. The hats in control then go out and earn money from their captive, and bring it back, effectively gaining funds, and shaping the economy in their favour. It’s more than just Champions now at the mercy of these headwear parasites, I fear.

Meanwhile, in other regions the Champions have either continued to catch a number of Pokémon, and chase down legendary Pokémon, or simply retreat into the wilderness like Red has, seemingly biding their time.

But sadly, us people are not the only targets. Of late, more and more costumes have been spotted on wild Pokémon. A lot more.

There are more than these as well. By u/Hellopikachu9

Notice how a lot of these have been generally for the more popular Pokémon out there. Starters feature heavily, and Pikachu! Well, we have 55 different versions of Pikachu with different pieces of clothing, most of them placed on its head. Add in the Pichu and Raichu versions too, and you see a very selective choice of Pokémon. Almost as if the parasites are choosing the most popular to aid their spread.

And we see another clue these aren’t innocent clothing options as well. Most of these cannot evolve anymore, like the majority of these Pikachu, or Kirlia, a Pokémon with two possible evolutions. But a few cases are able to evolve after some time, like Cubchoo with the ribbon. Think back to the stunted behaviour of the Champions – I believe this is another version of that, with the parasite at least initially unable to coexist with evolution of the Pokémon they control. Alternatively… the Pokémon is resisting, and much like Paras becoming Parasect, evolution only happens once full control is obtained. Either theory is worrying.

How long until the hats invade the rest of the world, and spread to all our Pokémon? I fear it’s only a matter of time. Please help spread the word and share your own reports – maybe we can still survive this threat.

Edited by Sheep and Siddhar.
Completely sensible idea by bobandbill and Me.
Originally published on Wynaut? Magazine and updated since.