Thursday, July 10, 2014

Breaking It Down: Silver

Silver wants YOU to go die.

I know I normally do anime characters on Breaking It Down, but I'd like to take a moment to address a character from a video game. He's quite turmoiled, and will do anything to become strong. That's right, this week on Breaking It Down, we're covering the rival from the second generation of Pokemon games, Silver.

DISCLAIMER: For the purposes of this article, I'll be using the Gen IV remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Sorta major spoilers after the jump.

Silver is a troubled young man with a very negative aura about him. But why is he this way? It may have something to do with his past. It's somewhat known that Silver is the son of former Team Rocket leader Giovanni.  The first indication of this is in the post-game of FireRed and :LeafGreen, where a Team Rocket Grunt mentions that Giovanni's son is "a young man with long red hair", a description that fits Silver perfectly. As for what fuels his anger and hatred, we must look at his interactions with the world around him, starting with his father, Giovanni.

Silver's connection to Giovanni was finally confirmed in a HeartGold and SoulSilver event in which the player is able to see Giovanni abandoning Silver to go into hiding. It could be that this abandonment is what makes Silver so hateful.  Indeed, Silver is quite eager to try and bring down the returning Team Rocket by himself, perhaps thinking that if he takes out Team Rocket, he could find his father.

Silver, at least initially, is hateful, angry, and implied to be physically abusive toward his Pokemon. It is only after losing to the player at Mt. Moon that Silver learns to care for his Pokemon, and it shows when his Golbat evolves into Crobat between the Mt. Moon battle and the Indigo Plateau battle. Additionally, he is shown to be genuinely happy when Professor Elm forgives him and lets him keep the starter he stole, perhaps implying that Silver had finally learned to love and cherish his Pokemon.

Throughout the game, Silver is extremely antagonistic toward the player, frequently calling him/her weak and a loser. This continues until the Mt. Moon battle, where Silver finally starts to figure it out that the reason he keeps losing is because his Pokemon don't necessarily trust him. This is further shown during the Indigo Plateau battle, where he owns a Crobat, again showing that he had come to love and trust his Pokemon. It is after that battle that Silver becomes friendlier toward the player, treating him/her like a proper rival.

At his core, Silver is a troubled child, struggling to find an outlet for his anger. He finally finds it in the player and his own Pokemon, yet it wasn't enough to satisfy him. He needed to become strong to get back at Giovanni, and so he resorted to stealing Pokemon from Professor Elm and a couple other folks to get that strength.

That's it for this installment  of Breaking It Down! See you next time, when I analyze a, as of this writing, undecided character. Stay tuned later this week for my review of the 1985 Dirty Pair anime, and check out my previous review here!

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