Leo M.R. asks:

Let’s make the most cursed concept design for a Fire starter ever! A bipedal bovine that:
– fights by getting enraged and charging at its opponents (shamelessly ripping off Tauros and Bouffalant, because we’re being as unoriginal as possible),
– is a fast physical attacker with Anger Point as its Hidden Ability, just to drive home the Tauros comparisons,
– has Fire/Fighting as its type in reference to the practice of bullfighting (a morally-questionable blood sport, and also calling back to Blaziken & cockfighting, because we’re being as unoriginal as possible),
– draws visual cues from oxen just to further reinforce the idea of Fire starters being based on the Chinese zodiac.

So, how cursed is this whole idea? Can we make it even more cursed?

oh no

so, this is a good effort, but I don’t think it’s cursed enough yet

We need to spit on the game balance somehow – make it either heinously overpowered, like Speed Boost-Blaziken overpowered, or find a way to make it really bad.  Fire/Fighting is so strong offensively that, I think, in order for a Fire/Fighting starter to be bad, it almost has to be really slow with one garbage defence stat and a signature move that does something pointless (maybe it scores more critical hits against burned targets).  Even then, though, starters have such high stats that it’s hard to make them truly awful without doing something totally obtuse, like mismatching their attack and special attack stats with their movepools.  If you want to go in the other direction, just make its hidden ability Huge Power and give it access to Agility.

On the zodiac angle… well, for me personally, to make it as cursed as possible, you have to make it like Cyndaquil or Fennekin, where it’s not actually based on an animal from the Chinese zodiac, but it’s close enough to make people keep repeating the theory anyway.  Not sure what the best direction for that is – maybe a bison?

The trouble with the cockfighting/bullfighting analogy is that it feels almost clever.  I think if you want to make it as cursed as possible you should just make it an angry wrestler.  With tights, except that the Pokédex makes it clear that they’re only skin/fur markings that look like tights for no obvious reason.

Oh, and… obviously it has to learn Curse.

12 thoughts on “Leo M.R. asks:

  1. Okay I know you said wrestler, but for some reason the tights thing made me think of a boxer instead. A boxing bison in boxer shorts. Like a boss fight you’d find in Punch-Out!! The Raging Bull of Pokémon. Rival to Hitmonchan. From Kanto to Galar, from Sinnoh to Alola, people chant its name in equal parts adoration, intimidation, and maybe a little bit of horny:

    BISONFIRE!

    …is it bad that I now low-key kinda want this to be real?

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  2. “I think if you want to make it as cursed as possible you should just make it an angry wrestler. With tights, except that the Pokédex makes it clear that they’re only skin/fur markings that look like tights for no obvious reason.”

    I know this post isn’t about Pignite and Emboar. But just to remind everyone, Pignite and Emboar.

    As for the zodiac, hmm…. maybe one could make an antelope, so people insist it’s a goat. Then, focus on speed to the point of diminishing returns, and wasting the remaining base stats by misaiming its special and physical attack stats and movesets. Maybe make it a quadruped, so it can’t use 99% of fighting attacks.

    Other options include: a sheep, which half the fandom will insist is an ox while half insists it’s a goat, or a water buffalo, just to be a contrarian, but risking being clever by accident. Actually, I might like the water buffalo idea… huh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re on to something with the antelope. If you designed it right, you could come up with a creature that could reasonably pass for either an ox, a goat, or a horse, thereby fulfilling three of the (supposedly) remaining slots in the Chinese zodiac. Essentially fuse Cobalion, Terrrakion, and Keldeo’s designs and slap Fire/Fighting onto it. Boom, efficient!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly, whenever they get around to the horse starter, I’d make it a biped just to mess with people. That and to differentiate it from every other equine Pokemon we have.

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      2. Yeah, I miss animalistic starters so much it’s not even funny… I love how up to gen 3, the starters were just some critters.

        I don’t even care about bipedalism or quadrupedalism- in gen 1 only the bulbasaur line was quadrupedal, after all. But then they started giving starters gimmicks and while I love some of the designs that arose (royal snake? wizard fox? great idea!) some of the others just feel way too gimmicky. Rillaboom needed a signature move because it has borderline nothing to do with plants, just drumming, which I still don’t know how it’s supposed to be a viable lifestyle for anything to carry a drumset around wherever it goes.

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        1. I agree – I don’t dislike bipedalism either, but I prefer my starters to evoke “animal” more than “cartoon character”.
          Rillaboom’s whole deal… “It uses drums to control roots” appears to me like a slapdash solution to the problem “we designed a gorilla drummer and now we realize it’s supposed to be a Grass-type starter”. Maybe I’m missing some really clever reference or something?

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Being quadruped will make it less cursed, since it’s less redundant with all the other fire/fighting starters (also, note that the last quadruped Fire starter was Typhlosion). So keep it bipedal. If we want to make it useless, though, we can inexplicably deny it all the good Fighting attacks. But then have a paid DLC event where it gets V-Create, Superpower, Close Combat and the ability Contrary. So it’ll be banned to Ubers, but most people won’t have one that’s good enough even for RU.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1) I dunno about this being cursed, the concept seems to be on par with the starters GF have been churning out these last four generations.*

    2) If the whole Zodiac deal isn’t BS, I predict a Fire-type chalicothere (for the horse, not the bull). Or maybe we’ll get a bipedal hippo and the fanbase will insist that it’s still close enough to count as a horse.

    *IMHO, entirely subjective assessment, and so on. Oh, and of course Serperior’s an exception.

    Liked by 1 person

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