Pokémon: What The Mezo Region Is (& Why It’s So Cool)
The Pokémon world varies widely in its regions and cultural influences, but the fan-made Mezo Region is an impressively unique and robust collection of fan art. Artist Lugi-Oh has created dozens of custom Pokémon designs and evolutions, regional forms, and even a map for the Mezo Region. The project has an aesthetic which meshes with that of official Pokémon material, but has the distinct personality of an actual region.
Lugi-Oh’s Mezo Region seems to derive its name from – and is thematically inspired by – Mesoamerica, a historical region which encompasses most of Central America and large portions of Mexico. Mesoamerica was an independent cradle of civilization which gave rise to such ancient cultures as the Olmec and the Maya. Just how many other Pokémon regions are topographically influenced by their real life counterparts (such as Sword & Shield and their DLCs being inspired by real life locations in the United Kingdom), the Mezo Region’s map has a striking similarity to not only Mesoamerica, but the American continents and the Caribbean as a whole.
Plenty of Lugi-Oh’s work can be found on their mezoregion Twitter profile and Lugi-Oh DeviantArt page. The DeviantArt page reveals that the Mezo Region has been a project over a decade in the making, with all characters designed and created by the artist. New, unofficial Pokémon or Pokédex pages (complete with stat blocks and zoological data) get posted near weekly, usually featuring an entire evolution line. The Mezo Region appears to be nothing more than a passion project, since the profile also reveals Lugi-Oh is not taking commissions for their astounding work.
Lugi-Oh’s Mezo Region Is Just As Good As Official Pokémon
Lugi-Oh’s Pokémon have impressively managed to capture the series’ art style rather faithfully, and even has believable evolutions. Some might be inclined to posit that Lugi-Oh’s Pokémon are even better than recent official ones. Newer generations have some of the worst designs for Pokémon games, but Lugi-Oh’s are all fairly imaginative and interesting. Even the Mezo regional variants of existing Pokémon that mezoregion posted on Reddit are good enough to pass as official forms. The Mezo versions of Arbok, complete with cowboy hat and spur-shaped rattle, and Tentaquest – likely a play on the word Conquistador, considering the Tentaquest’s helmet-like head – are notable stand outs.
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Official Pokémon regions have been branching out, representing cultures beyond specific areas of Japan, but none have been based on Central America. Lugi-Oh’s work in creating the fictional Mezo Region shows how the primarily Hispanic region could have its cultural heritage represented in a Pokémon game. There are likely hundreds or even thousands of fan-made Pokémon designs out there, but creating a whole new corner of the Pokémon world in the Mezo Region is a commendable accomplishment.
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