Anonymous asks:

If you could change one thing about Garbodor- other than the fact he exists- that would make you like him more, what would you do? For example, give him more moves, better stats, and evolution…

I have one major problem with Garbodor.

Well, two major problems.

…okay, three major problems.

The easiest problem is that he’s honestly just a terrible Pokémon.  Probably best fixed by adding some stuff to his movepool (probably support stuff, like Taunt and Slack Off – heck, maybe we could even get away with Thunder Wave? He already gets Thunderbolt, and Thunder Wave might actually be useful) and raising his HP a few points.  I should note that the addition of Drain Punch to Garbodor’s movepool via the B2W2 move tutors makes him significantly less terrible than when I first looked at him in ‘11, though he’s still not exactly good.

The second problem is that he’s conceptually very similar to Muk.  So similar, in fact, that I was never actually able to pick out any differences.  This is one of my pet peeves.  Now, this is where you probably want to look at Bogleech’s Garbodor article; he argues that Garbodor completes a land/sea/sky triad with Muk and Weezing, which… I don’t really believe, to be honest, or at least I don’t think that’s what the designers intended because, frankly, I think if that were the case Garbodor would have earth-related abilities (hey, that gives us an excuse to lump Earthquake on him).  I think Garbodor was intended to replace Muk and Weezing in Black and White, not to complement them.  That would certainly be a good place to start, though.  Aside from giving Garbodor earth-related powers, you could take some time to associate him with Muk and Weezing in some way other than merely having them in the same global franchise – set them up as rivals or something?  I’m of the opinion that if you really must copy an earlier idea to a t, you should at least reference the fact that this is what you’re doing.

The last problem I have with Garbodor is sort of a stylistic thing.  See, I think the knee-jerk reaction a lot of people have with Garbodor is that he’s dumb because he’s made out of trash, and this is not why I dislike him at all.  I don’t really have any issue with Muk, and I think Trubbish was actually surprisingly well done.  It’s more the ‘lobotomised chimpanzee’ look that bothers me.  Muk has an air of menace about him.  Garbodor has an air of ‘durrr…’

…let me tell you a story.

When I first encountered Garbodor, my thought was “that isn’t a Pokémon.  They would never create anything that stupid.”  Now, you believe I am exaggerating.  You believe that, obviously, when I met Garbodor in the game, the fact that he was in the game clearly must have proven to me, beyond doubt, that he really was a Pokémon and that Game Freak did create him, and that however much I disliked him I had to deal with him.

You would be wrong.

You would be wrong because the first place I ever encountered Garbodor was this cartoon.

Since this was before I had ever actually played Black version, I interpreted this as sheer exaggeration – “oh, look at the new Pokémon; they’re so dumb that even this piece of shit would fit in just fine.”  It honestly never occurred to me that this might be a real 5th-generation Pokémon I was looking at (the cartoon reached me without any explanatory caption, so I was deprived of that information).  When I actually met Garbodor in Black, my surprise and dismay were epic in their scope (and I am a classicist by training; ‘epic’ is not a word I use lightly).

Let me say this one more time.

When I first encountered Garbodor, I sincerely believed he was a parody created by Genwunners to mock recent Pokémon designs.

Let that sink in.

Is it really any wonder I have a problem with him?

One thought on “Anonymous asks:

  1. Concept-recycling doesn’t bother me too much to begin with (Venomoth and Dustox are both fabulous), but in this case I wouldn’t even call it that. I understand why the complaint arises: they’re both sentient pollution blobs. But sludge and garbage are like, entirely different things! I’d say they’re as conceptually similar as Manectric and Rapidash (concept: mammal with elemental powers) or Tauros and Ursaring (concept: mammal without elemental powers). Definitely not on the level of Espeon and Espurr/Meowstic (the only instance of concept-recycling I can think of that does peeve me).

    I assume this is a purple-or-violet/”that’s not a pie, that’s a cobbler” kind of thing – not saying that considering Garbodor a rehash of Muk is “wrong”.

    As for it’s visual design – I definitely agree that Garbodor evokes an air of “durrr” and “lobotomized chimpanzee”.

    Liked by 1 person

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