Glad the Mr. Mime question got the ball rolling! I just have one more for the time being regarding your favorite Vileplume. With Alola forms in mind, if you could pick any region where Oddish’s evolutionary family had a regional variation, which region would it be, and what would make the Oddishes, Glooms, Vileplumes, and Bellossoms different there?
Yeah I think when I moved to WordPress people… forgot(?) for a while, I guess, that they could do this? So thanks for that! Anyway, Vileplume. I wasn’t sure how to begin going about this, but I did some reading and learned about a property of the Rafflesia genus of flowers (which Vileplume is based on) that I hadn’t previously known about. We’ve always known that Rafflesia are parasitic; they grow on liana vines and extract water and nutrients from them to sustain their own growth. But according to recent research, they can actually steal genes from those vines, probably to better “camouflage” themselves against the host plant’s immune responses. You expect that kind of thing from bacteria, but in a parasitic plant, it’s really weird and interesting. The baseline Kanto-morph Vileplume doesn’t lean into the parasitism angle very much; the Rafflesia is a source for her physical appearance, and for Gloom’s notorious stench, but not their behaviour. They learn the Grass-type draining attacks, Absorb, Mega Drain and Giga Drain, but that’s about it. So let’s have Oddish, Gloom and Vileplume that parasitise other Grass Pokémon and have taken on a couple of their characteristics via horizontal gene exchange. Ideally that would include Tangela or Tangrowth, since real Rafflesia are vine parasites, but unfortunately there is currently no region in which Oddish or Gloom coexist with them in a single route. Hmm… where do Oddish and Gloom coexist with a significantly larger Grass Pokémon…? Ah – central Hoenn, with Tropius. I would expect Oddish, Gloom and Vileplume variants that parasitised Tropius to have brown skin, to match their hosts, and longer roots with more branching, to anchor themselves in the host’s skin. They could plausibly be Grass/Dark or even Grass/Bug for the parasitism theme, but I’m not sure how to change the physical design to fit that in a way that makes any sense. If we run with the gene transfer idea and have Gloom exploiting Tropius for genetic material and not just nutrients, we could have Vileplume eventually begin producing fruit similar to Tropius’ bananas (maybe containing seeds that can be carried long distances by other Pokémon), and Bellossom pick up leafy fairy wings and switch type to Grass/Flying. Let’s call that a start.