I see you liked my pitohui Pokemon, thanks! Which leads me to this question: I remember you said you were tired of bird Pokemon (among other generic templates) being repeated with each generation. That said, if you HAD to design a “common bird” (without any cop-outs like using a previous gen bird, for example), what would be the result? Would you have picked something different from a songbird, for example?
What have we had so far?
Pidgey isn’t so much a pigeon as a composite ‘generic bird,’ [EDIT: in fact it’s more probably a cedar waxwing, a medium-sized North American songbird] similarly Spearow is a composite ‘generic raptor’ and pretty clearly not a sparrow. Aside from those, we’ve had an owl, a swallow, a starling, an actual pigeon who eventually winds up as a pheasant, and a robin who winds up as a peregrine falcon. With the exception of Hoothoot and Noctowl, all fit into the same basic battle role as fast physical attackers (with… varying degrees of success). With the exception of Fletchinder and Talonflame, all are Normal/Flying. Now, if I understand the prompt you’re giving me, the requirement here is for an early-game Pokémon based on a bird without any particularly remarkable traits, initially Normal/Flying but not necessarily all the way?
I want a frickin’ ptarmigan.
Ptarmigans, for those unfamiliar with the name, are hardy little alpine- and tundra-adapted birds related to chickens, pheasants and quails. Probably their most interesting feature is that their feet and toes are covered in feathers, unusually for birds – part of their cold adaptation. Let’s play with that and have them evolve into Ice-types with ice crystal feathers on their feet, for performing a sort of ice-kick attack parallel to Blaze Kick (I’m sure some other Pokémon would love to share it). While real ptarmigans hibernate in burrows during the winter, these guys hibernate in summer and emerge when the weather starts to cool down again. They can fly, but aren’t great at it, and don’t generally like to travel long distances that way.
Wikipedia also informs me that the rock ptarmigan is known in Japan as the raichou – thunder bird (rai being the same word that appears in, e.g., Raichu and Raikou), which is a wonderful excuse to have it randomly learn a couple of Electric attacks as it levels and confuse everyone who isn’t in on the joke.
I kinda want the final form to be called Ptarmagnicant, but I’m worried that’s too long (2 letters longer than Fletchinder, who has the longest English name of any Pokémon), and I have no ideas on the smaller forms. Suggestions?