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”
So… I guess it’s time to learn about native Hawaiian mythology, huh?
We’re on the home stretch of seventh-generation Pokémon now, and today we’re talking about the four guardian deities of the Alolan islands: Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini. These four are deeply woven into Alolan culture and identity, and they have a special relationship with the Alolan trial system and its administrators, the four Island Kahunas. They’re also the pièce de résistance of generation VII’s unprecedented level of interest in taking inspiration from the culture, ecology and history of the real-world region its setting is based on.Continue reading “Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini”
[First of all: apologies for this one being late. I lost quite a bit of writing time last week flying back from Athens and recovering from jet lag (which, for me, tends to involve sleeping for 15 hours straight), but I think everything is just about back on track now!]
Ever had a paper cut?
Hurts, doesn’t it?
Well, today’s Pokémon, the Ultra Beast Kartana, would like you to know that it lives to cause you that pain. Every time you turn a page in a book too quickly and feel a sudden, sharp sting, or every time you lick an envelope and your tongue or lip screams at you to abort the mission because something has gone horribly wrong, Kartana is there, watching. And laughing.
You’re welcome.Continue reading “Kartana”
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”
There are a lot of Grass Pokémon out there – it’s currently the fourth most common type in Pokémon, with almost one hundred representatives. It’s slightly curious, then, that there are so few Pokémon based on fruit. Tropius sort of counts, with fruit dangling off his neck, and Cherubi shifts into cherry blossom upon evolving, which has its own cultural significance in Japan, so arguably the only Pokémon wholeheartedly based on fruit are Ferroseed and Ferrothorn – assuming you do in fact classify the durian as a fruit and not as a sort of spiteful biological land mine. It’s possible that fruit Pokémon make Game Freak nervous since they draw attention to the old “do we eat Pokémon?” dilemma, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from cranking out mushrooms, or harvesting cast-off Crabrawler claws – or, for that matter, creating Swirlix and Vanillite. In any case, it’s time to break out your recipe books, because our next potentially edible Pokémon is here: Bounsweet, and her evolved forms Steenee and Tsareena. Continue reading “Bounsweet, Steenee and Tsareena”
Today we’re talking about Fomantis and Lurantis, the “Sickle Grass Pokémon” and “Bloom Sickle Pokémon,” a pair of deceptive Grass-types that take on the appearance of insects, their names evoking the words “faux” and “lure.” According to the Pokédex, Lurantis is often called “the most glamorous Grass Pokémon,” which… well, I think Roserade, Lilligant, Virizion and fellow Alolan Grass-type Tsareena are all going to want a word with you about that one, Lurantis, but for now we’ll agree that you’re top 5 material. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading “Fomantis and Lurantis”
Today we come to the newest iteration of mushroom Pokémon: the tall, slim-stalked, luminous Morelull and Shiinotic. Morelull and Shiinotic have an uphill battle to make themselves unique and interesting, as the fourth set mushroom Pokémon after Paras and Parasect (interesting by reason of soulless parasitism), Shroomish and Breloom (interesting by reason of kick-boxing dinosaurs), and Foonguss and Amoonguss (interesting by reason of… um… stealing Voltorb’s schtick in a way that somehow makes even less sense). These latest versions… well, I mean, they give it a go. Continue reading “Morelull and Shiinotic”
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”
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”
Oh, hey, a Pokéball.
Wait, wait. I’m not falling for that. It’s not really a Pokéball; it’s a Voltorb.
Hang on; there are no old Pokémon in Unova! I’m safe! Which means… whoohoo, free stuff! Now, what’s ins-
Today’s Pokémon are Foongus and Amoonguss (and yes, I knew what the adult form was going to be called as soon as I met the juvenile). Continue reading “Foongus and Amoonguss”