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.
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.
Remember when you first encountered this Pokémon? Just wandering around Akala Island, minding your own business, when suddenly the lead guitarist of a My Chemical Romance cover band challenges you to a battle, enters some kind of drug-induced seizure-trance, and sends out what is clearly about six different Pokémon, stitched together by the bastard child of Victor Frankenstein and Josef Mengele. That first appearance makes quite an impact; it’s clear from the start that Gladion is an important character mixed up with some grade-A X-files $#!t, and that his partner Pokémon is not a typical Alolan species. In fact, it’s an artificial creature designed by the Aether Foundation, the antagonists (more or less) of Sun and Moon, with a very specific purpose in mind. Continue reading “Type: Null and Silvally”→
All right! One hundred and fifty-five down, one to go! I can do this! Yeah! Go me! I’m awesome! Now, let’s wrap this up, with Unova’s last remaining legendary Pokémon: the glacial Dragon-type Kyurem!
Kyurem is a mysterious and powerful Dragon Pokémon who lives hidden in a crater known as the Giant Chasm, near Lacunosa Town in north-eastern Unova. The people of Lacunosa Town don’t know what lives in the Chasm, but they regard it as a place of ill omen and are afraid to go near it. The town is surrounded by a wall to keep out whatever lives there, and the people of the town normally stay inside their homes at night, since old legends warn of a monster that fell from the sky long ago and takes away people and Pokémon at night to eat them. Their fear is understandable; Kyurem’s hard, almost skeletal visage is not a welcoming sight. As far as I can make out, though, he just wants to lurk in his dark cave at the back of his meteor crater and be left alone. The information we have on Kyurem from the Pokédex seems to suggest that he’s unwell – maybe sick, injured, or just plain old – and can’t control his own ice powers properly anymore. His own body has long since been frozen by his own chilling aura, leaving him a shadow of his former self. So, what was his former self like? The air is thick with speculation. Continue reading “Kyurem”→
Okay, guys, today we’re looking at the last Pokémon that has yet to be officially revealed by Nintendo: a killing machine of unfathomable power, created from the genetic material of an ancient Pokémon by an evil mastermind in order to create the most powerful of all-
…oh, they wouldn’t dare.
…I can’t believe this; they did it. They actually did it. They actually recycled Mewtwo’s backstory! The fiends!
Okay, sure, there are differences. Genesect was the brainchild of Team Plasma (and presumably of their de facto leader, Ghetsis), the villains of Black and White, who enhanced the deadly prehistoric insect with metal armour and a devastating portable photon cannon, while Mewtwo, who was commissioned by Team Rocket’s shadowy master Giovanni, gained his incredible psychic abilities courtesy of a truly frightening amount of gene splicing (although, in the TV show, Giovanni does also equip him with a suit of armour designed to focus and augment his powers). Also, it seems pretty clear that Genesect was always a vicious hunter even before Team Plasma got to it, whereas Mewtwo’s predecessor, Mew, is one of the most peaceful and carefree Pokémon you’ll ever find. As I alluded earlier, though, the similarities are striking, to say the least. The Genesect project was actually shut down, since Team Plasma’s spiritual leader, N, held a very different attitude towards Pokémon to Giovanni’s; specifically, N believes that Pokémon are perfect beings, and came to the conclusion that the technological enhancements made to Genesect by his scientists were a corruption of its natural purity. The lab where Genesect was developed was not abandoned, though; a couple of scientists continued to haunt the place and eventually brought their creation to a state resembling completion. Continue reading “Genesect”→
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”→
Today I’m looking at the second of Black and White’s legendary trios, the ogre-like genies Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus. Why do these games have so many legendary Pokémon, anyway? Every set of games always introduces more of the things than the last (compare five in Red and Blue to thirteen in Black and White), and at some point you have to wonder how many we actually need… but I should judge them all on their merits, shouldn’t I? So, without further ado: the legendary genies, Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus.
As their astonishingly inventive names attest, Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus are spirits of wind, lightning and earth; Landorus is a Ground/Flying dual-type, Thundurus an Electric/Flying dual-type, and Tornadus the only single-typed Flying Pokémon in the entire game. Tornadus and Thundurus are chaotic and sometimes destructive storm spirits who zip around frying people, blowing them away, playing tricks, ransacking things at random, and occasionally beating the hell out of each other and laying waste to a few neighbourhoods in the process. Landorus, in stark contrast, is a benevolent figure associated with protection and fertility, whose role is to keep the other two in line and to encourage crops to grow healthily. When Tornadus or Thundurus (or both) makes trouble for the villages of Unova, Landorus shows up to settle things. Continue reading “Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus”→
…oh, Victini, what did you do to deserve this? I know there are people who like Victini; I know they exist. Those people would be best served by turning around, sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting “la la la, I can’t hear you” for the duration of this entry.
Let’s have some background. Victini is the latest in a long line of “cute” legendary Pokémon. The Psychic cat Pokémon Mew is the fabled ancestor of all Pokémon. Celebi is a forest spirit who exists beyond time. Jirachi is a celestial fairy Pokémon who is only awake for one week in every thousand years, but can supposedly grant any wish in that time. Manaphy, the so-called prince of the sea, possesses unmatched empathic abilities and can touch the heart of any living thing. Last but not least, Shaymin, the guardian of meadows, is the personification of gratitude and has the power to harmlessly absorb any poison. Victini, the newest addition to the group, is the embodiment of victory. Victini is said to be a source of boundless energy, which he can share with anyone who touches his body. As such, possessing Victini is supposedly an absolute guarantee of victory. I don’t just mean victory in battle either; Victini is victory itself and can bring success in any kind of situation with any possible outcome that might be considered ‘winning’. Continue reading “Victini”→