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Why is your friend referred to as your rival in Pokemon games?

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Your friend, lets say Dawn, travels around with you. Why would they be considered your rival? Even if it's a friendly rivalry, I think they should be called your friend or buddy. Normally when I think of the word rival I think of an enemy. Why are they referred to as your rivals?

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Partly because they have been called so since the early gens, when the rivalry was a slightly unfriendly one. I suppose the word just stuck.
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Best answer

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As you can clearly see, there is no mention of "friend" or "enemy". Just a competitor. Besides, all Rivals are not friendly, nor are all rivals particularly enemies to the player.

Also, Rival is a cool and apt term for the role played by the player's rival:

  • To beat the player at catching more Pokemon
  • To defeat the player in all the battles

And thus, despite being friends, they are referred to as rivals.

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Thanks!
But, obviously they fail at beating you.
1 vote

Well, that's because they are having a competition with us. They are competing with us like rivals do. The word actually means two friends that are competing and having fun with each other. Do the rivals ever say that 'I hate you !I will completely destroy you one day!' or something related to that? They are friends that hang out with you on your journey so you don't feel alone.

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1 vote

In the Pokémon games you need to have a sort of 'constant goal' to achieve, a way to get players to use different Pokémon and tactics, and a perfect way to achieve this in a child-friendly way is to have a rival always exited to battle you. And to allow for the character to have some story to it, they are are to look like your friend in the world of Pokèmon.

Hope this helped!

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