Yamask and Cofagrigus

52a5a-creepypokemonI’ve probably mentioned before that I quite like slightly darker takes on Pokémon, primarily because I think the setting and many of the creatures have a lot of potential for that kind of plot (witness, for instance, some of the spinoff games like Colosseum on the GameCube).  A startling number of Pokémon already have some surprisingly dark designs and flavour text; even in the original games Cubone wore the skulls of their dead parents as helmets, which is pretty strong for a kids’ game when you think about it.  The Pokédex also reports a couple of disturbing urban legends – like a Hypno abducting a child, and a boy with telekinetic abilities waking up one morning mysteriously transformed into a Kadabra.  Gyarados, meanwhile, is famed for levelling cities and Mewtwo is, if anything, more destructive still.  Ghost Pokémon, of course, take the cake; for instance, Ruby and Sapphire’s Shedinja, a mysterious Pokémon that seems to possess the shell shed by Nincada when it evolves into Ninjask, supposedly steals the soul of anyone who looks into the crack in its back.  I could go on about this for days, you understand, but what I mean to do here is give you a little context for when I start talking about today’s Pokémon, the Ghost-types Yamask and Cofagrigus, because Yamask’s design… in some ways is not nearly as troubling as some of what we’ve seen in the past, but in other ways is so much worse. Continue reading “Yamask and Cofagrigus”

Litwick, Lampent and Chandelure

Today we look at three pretty cute-looking and generally appealing Pokémon… who will suck out your soul.

No, I’m serious, that’s actually what the Pokédex says.

706be-litwickMeet Litwick, Lampent and Chandelure, the candle Pokémon.  These guys are Ghost/Fire-types: another new combination, which is practically a guarantee that what we’re going to get will at least be interesting even if it’s not strong.  The fact that they’re Ghost Pokémon is also, oddly, a good omen in itself because Ghost Pokémon are inherently fascinating; I for one am still trying to figure out what exactly they are.  In the Pokémon world, Ghost-types are generally feared and seen as malevolent spirits, but in many cases this is actually unjustified – Gastly, Haunter and Gengar, famously, are not actually evil but have a very disturbing sense of humour that can easily cause playfulness to be misinterpreted as aggression; Sableye’s predicament is similar.  Some, notably Mismagius, Dusknoir and Drifblim, have mysterious powers that could be used for good or evil, and where they fall on that axis is extremely ambiguous. Continue reading “Litwick, Lampent and Chandelure”

Frillish and Jellicent

219dc-frillishToday I’m going to take a flying leap into the second half of the Unovan Pokédex to look at one of the Pokémon I used in my play-through of Black: the undead jellyfish Pokémon Frillish and Jellicent.  Yes, you read that right: undead.  See, they may not look it, but Frillish and Jellicent are actually Ghost-types.  This is not only an immediate defence against any accusation that Frillish is just Tentacool 2.0, it also means that they possess a unique type combination, Ghost/Water, and therefore an inherently interesting set of powers.  From a mechanical perspective, this is clearly a good start, so let’s look at the flavour. Continue reading “Frillish and Jellicent”