Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo

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”

Foongus and Amoonguss

019ed-foongusOh, 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-

…damnit, Foongus!

588d7-voltorbandelectrodeToday’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”

Ferroseed and Ferrothorn

cb10e-ferroseedToday’s Pokémon are Ferroseed and Ferrothorn, the… uh… the… spiky… metal… plant-things…

Google, help me out here.

…y’know, I don’t think anyone has a completely satisfactory explanation as to what Ferroseed and Ferrothorn are.  People think they’re based on the durian, the world’s most passive-aggressive fruit, which comes from South-East Asia.  It tastes delicious, smells revolting, is covered in vicious thorns, and is perfectly capable of killing you if it falls on your head.  In many respects, Ferroseed is very much like a durian; he’s round, spiky, vegetative, and wishes that the world and everything in it would just leave him alone.  However, he’s also made of iron, lives on the walls of caves and survives by leaching minerals from the rocks.  I suppose when you think about it this is the logical conclusion for a fruit that clearly wants nothing to do with anyone – hiding in a cold, dark place, sucking on rocks and jabbing anyone who bothers you.  Continue reading “Ferroseed and Ferrothorn”

Deerling and Sawsbuck

ed6ed-springdeerExcuse me for a moment.  I need to do the cutesy baby-talk thing.

Aw, who’s a cute little deer?  You are!  Yes you are!  Yeshyouare!

You saw nothing; you heard nothing.

Today I’m looking at the Pokémon incarnations of Bambi and his dad: Deerling and Sawsbuck.  Deerling are shy, retreating creatures, much like real deer, but because they’re Grass Pokémon they’re even better at blending into their environments, thanks to their mossy fur.  Surprisingly robust and adaptive, Deerling are the subject of a great deal of research in Unova because of an unusual property they possess, chosen to emphasise one of the new mechanics of Black and White: seasonality.  The Pokémon games have had a concept of day and night since Gold and Silver but only now has Game Freak added in the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, which the games cycle through over the course of four months.  A few Pokémon vary in rarity and in range with the seasons – Cubchoo, for instance, can be found further south in Winter than at other times – but only one or two disappear entirely at certain times of year (from memory, I think Druddigon hibernate in Winter, but that’s about it).  Continue reading “Deerling and Sawsbuck”


Some days I get to talk about Pokémon that are just really awesome.  Whether by design, or mechanics, or the way the mechanics fit the design, or some other little twist – because Game Freak do still make Pokémon like this.  That’s the real reason for this blog, actually; I realise I probably give the impression that I’m here primarily to bitch about Pokémon that aren’t up to standard, but remember that I do still play these games and love them.  That’s right, Game Freak, I’m on your side.  I’m here to answer the people who complain that Pokémon has been going downhill since Gold and Silver (or since Ruby and Sapphire, or whatever, there’s a batch of ‘em for every generation).  And some days, I get to do just that.

Other days I get Maractus.

9e338-maractusMaractus is a dancing cactus.  It could be worse; in much the same way that destitution could be worse, because at least you don’t have the plague yet.  We’ve had “dancing plant” before, and we’ve had “cactus” before, but Maractus is so different from the last cactus that I’m sort of willing to let her off on that one.  Cacturne, her predecessor, was a sinister nocturnal hunter whose purpose in existence is to remind you what a scary place the desert is – and in my opinion, he did that pretty well.  Maractus is a bright, happy diurnal performer, and on some level I can’t help but be annoyed by making a desert Pokémon so unrelentingly cheerful.  Continue reading “Maractus”

Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny

be2d0-sewaddleI knew it was coming.  When Game Freak put together Black and White, they decided to abandon all existing Pokémon in favour of new ones, which meant it was once again time to get out their sheets of formulae on how to design standard, comfortable everyday Pokémon, and one of these old standards is the caterpillar Pokémon.  So it is that we come to meet the obligatory caterpillar, Sewaddle, the obligatory cocoon, Swadloon, and the obligatory butterfly, Leava-

Wait.  That’s not a butterfly.  That’s a leaf insect.

Praise the gods, they did something different! Continue reading “Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny”

Petilil and Lilligant

cf2af-petililThe thing about Pokémon games is that they come in pairs: Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, yada yada yada, with a couple of Pokémon are missing from each one, like Electabuzz from Blue and Magmar from Red.  In order to finish the god-awful errand that is supposedly the game’s framing device but which everyone actually forgets about within the first hour or so (i.e. filling the damn Pokédex), you have to trade with a friend who has the other game.  Since Game Freak shows no sign of wanting to give up this concept, White version doesn’t get Cottonee and Whimsicott – what White gets instead, and Black doesn’t, is these two: Petilil and Lilligant.  Now, Petilil is cute and all, and while Lilligant does feel oddly reminiscent of a Southern belle to me she doesn’t look too badly done either, but tell me… aren’t you all having flashbacks to Oddish and Bellossom?  Continue reading “Petilil and Lilligant”