The regional variant Pokémon we’re looking at today all evolve from Pokémon that do not have regional variant forms of their own – a Pikachu, Cubone or Exeggcute caught or hatched in Alola will look much the same as a Pikachu, Cubone or Exeggcute caught or hatched anywhere else. In fact, they don’t just look the same, they are the same; an Alolan Pikachu that is sent to Galar will evolve into a standard Raichu (even though Sword and Shield do know what an Alolan Raichu is, and Pokémon games do track each individual Pokémon’s region of origin), while a Pikachu that arrives in Alola from anywhere else will evolve into an Alolan Raichu. That’s weird, because other regional forms don’t work this way (with the exception of two Galarian forms, Weezing and Mr. Mime); you can take an Alolan Rattata to any region of the world and keep it there for as long as you like, it’ll still evolve into an Alolan Raticate. Let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on here.Continue reading “Alolan Raichu, Marowak and Exeggutor”
Three to go, and no time to spare; the day is almost out and the shadows are getting longer, and… unusually animated. Let’s meet generation VII’s mythical Pokémon #2: the elusive Marshadow.Continue reading “Marshadow”
Today we’re going to look at… probably the closest thing that Ultra Sun and Moon have to an antagonist: the mysterious, sinister light-devouring Pokémon, Necrozma. With an all-black colour scheme, a name that incorporates the ancient Greek word for corpse, a mysterious extraterrestrial origin, and the ability to blast everything in sight with frikkin’ laser beams, this is clearly a Pokémon to run away from very fast. But what actually is it? Let’s discuss.Continue reading “Necrozma”
Time to tackle the sun and moon Pokémon of Pokémon: Sun and Moon! Today we look at the Nebula Pokémon, Cosmog, the Protostar Pokémon, Cosmoem, and their two final forms, the legendary Solgaleo and Lunala. This is, I warn you now, going to be a long and treacherous journey through complicated blind alleys of astronomy and mythology. My position on the big version-mascot legendary Pokémon is usually that they aren’t supposed to reference any one specific mythological character or tradition (obligatory link to me ranting about the “Norse mythology” interpretation of the XYZ legendaries). Instead, they’re attempting to tap into general mythological archetypes that the designers think will be meaningful across many cultures (hence, the version mascots are some of the very few Pokémon whose names are more or less constant across all translations of the game). This means that interpreting them is… kind of as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, and… well, when have I ever made anything simple? As with the four Tapu, I’m going to forgo any discussion of the competitive merits of these Pokémon, partly because they’re both crazy powerful and it’s just hard to go wrong with them, but mostly because just scroll down and I think you’ll agree that I have more than served my time here already. So let’s get into it – starting with why these Pokémon are the types that they are.Continue reading “Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo and Lunala”
Today’s Pokémon is Blacephalon, whose special skill is to blow up its own head.
And… well, you know, call me crazy, but I would have thought that would be the end of it. Nonetheless, here we are. This is the last Ultra Beast, and I just have to deal with it.
Like Stakataka, Blacephalon doesn’t appear in the original Sun and Moon, and its homeworld doesn’t appear in the sequels. It doesn’t even have a very big anime role, since it co-stars in an episode with Xurkitree and doesn’t get the spotlight to itself, although the dynamic between the two is at least somewhat interesting. Blacephalon is just… a bit of a weird non sequitur of a Pokémon. It appears, it blows up its own head…
…profit???Continue reading “Blacephalon”
Some Pokémon are just… weird. And frankly I kind of have a soft spot for them. Heatmor? Someone jammed a blast furnace through an anteater and thought it would make a cool Pokémon; I love it. Spoink? It’s a spring-loaded pig’s head that can’t ever stop moving or its heart will explode. Perfection. Gligar? I… I mean, I’m gonna be honest; it’s been eighteen years and I still don’t know what Gligar is, but clearly he’s great. Probopass? I… well, …okay, I draw the line at Probopass because that moustache is clearly just a crime against all that is natural; I have limits. But the point is that quirkiness is appealing to me. So, presented with a Pokémon who is apparently an undead clump of seaweed wrapped around a rusty ship’s wheel and anchor that it uses to hunt whales… well, colour me confused but intrigued.Continue reading “Dhelmise”
Today’s Pokémon is something of a dark horse contender for most adorable Pokémon of generation VII. Sure, it’s so ugly that it turns the old cliché “if looks could kill” into a grim reality, but it just wants to be loved, and the well-meaning adage “be yourself” has led it to one too many tragedies. Horrifying as it is at first glance, it’s hard not to sympathise with it once you learn the trials and tribulations that plague Mimikyu: the Disguise Pokémon.Continue reading “Mimikyu”
Before we begin, I want to point out, for the benefit of people who might not usually pay attention to this kind of thing, that Palossand has one of the best French names I’ve ever seen for a Pokémon: Trépassable. It’s a portmanteau of trépas, demise, and sable, sand, but it also sounds like très passable – “good enough,” which is a phrase that everyone who has ever built a sandcastle has uttered at least once.
Anyway. Haunted sandcastles!
Haunted castles make perfect sense to anyone with even a vague familiarity with 19th century gothic horror or its 20th century cinematic inheritors. Beginning with Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, any gothic horror worth the name has a menacing castle on a windswept crag in the middle of a dark forest in Molvania or some similarly dismal place, and said castle is regularly infested with a range of “local colour” including but not limited to bats, vampires, mad scientists, werewolves and, of course, ghosts. Ghosts and castles go hand in hand right down to contemporary fiction, with the entertaining spiritual population of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, and ghosts in the haunting business are commonly depicted as pursuing “unfinished business” or grudges left over from their lives. But a haunted sandcastle might be something of a new one… Continue reading “Sandygast and Palossand”
I do not have a good record with anything capable of earning the title of “gimmick” Pokémon – Pokémon whose schtick is some unique move, ability or game mechanic that was so clever Game Freak felt they could stop there, and didn’t need to have the Pokémon be any good or the design make any sense. Today we decide whether Oricorio, the dancing honeycreeper Pokémon, fits that description. Four interchangeable and mostly cosmetic forms, a weird signature move, a weirder ability… the phrase “walks like a duck, quacks like a duck” comes to mind, but let’s take a closer look. Continue reading “Oricorio”
Bloody hell, if I don’t hurry this up they’re going to announce another damn generation before I’m done with this one; we’re already expecting whatever this bull$#!t is supposed to be and I’ve got eighty whole Pokémon to evaluate in the next couple of months, as well as talking about Team Skull and the Aether Foundation, and Hau, and maybe Lillie too, and whoever I decide counts as the Champion, not to mention answering the neverending tide of ridiculous banal questions that keep pouring out of my goddamn inbox (obviously, gentle reader, I’m not talking about any questions you might have submitted, which are of course consistently insightful and thought provoking; it’s all those other bastards that are the problem).
Let’s talk about Rowlet. Continue reading “Rowlet, Dartrix and Decidueye”