One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
Let’s do some more Galarian forms! Today I want to look at the two “warrior” regional variant Pokémon of Galar: Galarian Meowth and Farfetch’d, and their evolved forms Perrserker and Sirfetch’d. Like many of the Alolan forms we’ve already talked about, these forms are to some extent less about “adaptation” and more about regional culture, history and folklore. Let’s get into how they use those things…
Meowth and Perrserker
This is Meowth’s second regional alternate form, and where Alolan Meowth is refined, elegant, royal, accustomed to luxuries, Galarian Meowth is… not that. It and its evolved form, Perrserker, are shaggy and wild with prominent teeth, claws and horns. Kantonian and Alolan Meowth and Persian are associated with gold, coins, gems, wealth and good fortune in finance, because of their links to Japan’s lucky “beckoning cat” figurines, or maneki-neko. Galarian Meowth and Perserker are Steel-types, and their coins aren’t gold, but black iron – transformed by “living with a savage, seafaring people.” A savage, seafaring people, in a region based on England, can only be a reference to the Vikings – the Scandinavian raiders who plagued the coast of Great Britain throughout the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, and even ruled most of northern and eastern England for a while under a regime known as the Danelaw. They’re particularly famed for their elite warriors known as berserkers (hence Perr-serker) – literally “bear-shirts,” perhaps because they wore bearskins into battle. It’s a little unclear exactly what these guys’ deal was; they may have had something to do with some ancient Germanic animal cult and channelled animal spirits in battle to fight more effectively, and also they may have used some kind of psychoactive mushroom or herb to “enhance” their abilities. Animalistic and more than a little crazy, is the general vibe.
on Pokémaniacal, we met Buzzwole, a horrendously jacked space mosquito who can
drink an entire Snorlax in under a minute, and one of two Bug/Fighting-type
Ultra Beasts. The second is our subject
for today: Pheromosa, who almost couldn’t be more different, and seems like it
might be meant as a high-feminine counterpart to the arch-masculine Buzzwole
(which would make sense given their status as version-exclusive Pokémon for
Moon and Sun, respectively). Let’s take
Today’s Pokémon is our second Ultra Beast, the abomination of hulking
muscle and red life-juice that is Buzzwole.
While clearly just as weird and arguably un-Pokémon-like as Nihilego, Buzzwole
is weird and un-Pokémon-like in very different ways, the main commonality being
that Buzzwole also lacks well-defined facial features (I mean, it kind of has eyes, but they look more
like real insectoid compound eyes than the heavily anthropomorphised eyes that
Bug Pokémon often have, and are very small and indistinct). However, unlike the unrelentingly alien
Nihilego, Buzzwole is if anything weirdly and unsettlingly human while
simultaneously being obviously insectoid – fitting for the Bug/Fighting type
combination, but a striking contrast to the one previous Bug/Fighting Pokémon,
Heracross. Let’s take a closer look.
we’re almost at the end now, technically – today’s Pokémon are the last
“ordinary” Pokémon of Alola. On the
other hand, we’re sort of not near the end at all, because we’ve got not only
legendary Pokémon to do after this, but also Ultra Beasts, and I think I
promised to write something about the
Alolan forms as well, and… oh, let’s just get on with it. Here’s Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o: the
Today we’ll be following up Oranguru by looking at his opposite number. Oranguru is only available on the Moon and Ultra Moon versions of the game; in the same part of Alola, the Lush Jungle of Akala Island, the Sun and Ultra Sun versions instead get Passimian. They’re opposites in some fairly obvious and superficial ways – both are based on primates, but Oranguru is an intelligent Psychic-type while Passimian is a physically powerful Fighting-type, a classic brains-and-brawn pair, and in battle, Oranguru amplifies his partner’s powers while Passimian uses his partner’s powers to make himself stronger. There’s more going on here, though – a lot more, to be honest, than I realised when I first met either of them. Continue reading “Passimian”→
Today I would like to talk to you about crabs: specifically, Crabrawler and the delightfully named Crabominable (seriously, can we just take a minute to appreciate the wonderful tumbling rhythm of that name?). In the process of writing this piece, I have learned (because learning obscure and not particularly useful zoological trivia is just part of what I do here) that evolution just really likes crabs for some reason, and consequently keeps trying to turn other random animals into crabs with mixed results, a process known as carcinisation. Crabs have apparently evolved at least five separate times, from a variety of starting points (giving rise, surprisingly, to only two Pokémon before now: Kingler and Crustle, Crawdaunt being a lobster). On the basis of this vague half-substantiated piece of pseudo-knowledge, I have decided that crabs are the ultimate form of life, to which all other species aspire. Of course, Crabrawler and Crabominable have the advantage of already being there – so let’s see what the apex of all biological life has to offer the Alola region. Continue reading “Crabrawler and Crabominable”→
I’m back from Italy and on the home stretch, with only three more Pokémon to go, so let’s check out today’s, the second of three Pokémon that still don’t officially exist according to Nintendo (and therefore have no official art; the pictures I’m using here are by Xous54 and are closely based on the in-game sprites): the enigmatic Meloetta.
Meloetta is a dainty humanoid Pokémon with powers related to music. Her arms and hands, as well as part of her headdress, are shaped like musical notes, and her wavy hair is reminiscent of a musical score. She can influence the emotions of people with her song, helping them to achieve the right state of mind for composing music, and could well be based on the Muses, the ancient Greek goddesses of inspiration, or possibly on less ancient interpretations of the same concept. There were traditionally supposed to be nine Muses, but Meloetta has only two forms (I’m not particularly bothered by this, incidentally; nine forms would be interesting but it would have been difficult to achieve enough differentiation between them to make it worthwhile), which are related to the two main ways humans can participate in music: song and dance. In her “Aria” form, Meloetta’s hair is green and flows out behind her, while in her “Pirouette” form, her orange hair is wrapped up around the top of her head like a turban and her skirt blows up around her like a ballerina’s tutu. Meloetta can switch from her Aria form, in which she is a Normal/Psychic dual-type, to her Pirouette form, in which she is a Normal/Fighting dual-type, by using an attack called Relic Song, a technique she forgot long ago but which she can remember with the help of a musician in Castelia City who will also tell you Meloetta’s story. Continue reading “Meloetta”→
The time has come (largely because I’m running out of anything else) to think about some more legendary Pokémon, namely the so-called “legendary musketeers,” Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo. These Fighting-type Pokémon have that name because, according to the designers, they are based on the eponymous French warriors of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel, the Three Musketeers, though personally I think it would be more appropriate to say that they are, if anything, parallel to the musketeers. You might be forgiven for not thinking that the connection is immediately obvious (in fact, I’m not convinced anyone could work it out without being told or simply getting very lucky with a wild guess) – both groups have (in brief) an old one, a fat one, and a gay one (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, respectively), plus an annoying kid who hangs around with them because he wants to join their club (d’Artagnan). They are also both renowned for swordsmanship – the Pokémon versions only in a figurative sense, in that they all learn Swords Dance and share a signature move called Sacred Sword; despite the name, they fight mainly by goring enemies with their horns. Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo are, furthermore, motivated by their ideals of duty and justice, which likewise sounds like a reference. Continue reading “Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo”→