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.
…okay, I guess we have to talk about the Gene Simmons badger.
Along with Weezing, the Galarian forms of Zigzagoon and Linoone, with their regional evolution Obstagooon, were some of the first Pokémon of Sword and Shield we ever met. This was when Nintendo confirmed that Galar would have regional forms, just like Alola did – something that we’d all been anticipating for a while, but couldn’t be sure about. Obstagoon was a big deal for another reason: it was the first regional evolution we’d seen. Linoone come in two forms, Hoennese and Galarian, but only the Galarian one can evolve. According to those initial teasers, Zigzagoon are native to Galar, and this “regional variant” is actually the Pokémon’s original form – a loud, belligerent and undeniably fabulous origin for one of Hoenn’s, frankly, duller Pokémon.
I think we should talk about regional variants, don’t you? I was going to do the Alolan forms at the end of generation VII, and the timing got so tight at the end, but now that we’ve got a bunch of Galarian forms as well, it seems like something we could do all at once. So here’s the plan: Alolan forms first, Galarian forms after that, and I dunno if I have all that much to say about each one individually but I could certainly take ‘em three at a time, trying as far as possible to put them into groups that are in some way thematic. Sound good? Okay. We’re going to begin with the Alolan Rattata and Raticate, Meowth and Persian, and Grimer and Muk – not because they are all Dark-types, which is a reason, but not a very good one; we’re putting them together because all three forms exist in Alola as the result of human intervention. Let’s discuss.
I think I
may have been born an old man. I’ve
always been jaded, crotchety, forgetful and averse to change, and my whole life
has just been building up to the day when I’ll finally be able to use my age as
an excuse for it. It is for this reason
that my spirit Pokémon is Druddigon, who lives in a cave and hates everyone,
but I have a certain sympathy too for today’s Pokémon, an elderly, white-haired
berserk dragon known to the Alolans as Drampa.
Back in the day, we had Snorlax, a Pokémon whose sole purpose in life is seemingly to eat (everything) and sleep (for weeks). Snorlax was, for many of us, an aspiration: a promise that, if we worked hard and gained enough weight to tip the scales at 460 kg, we too could spend our days in blissful slumber, waking up only long enough to blunder into a supermarket, scarf down some chips or chocolates or whatever else takes our fancy, crash out through the wall without paying, and then stumble back to bed for another month. Or… maybe that was just me. In any case, Snorlax has now been convincingly one-upped by a Pokémon that is lazier still: the coma koala Pokémon, Komala. Continue reading “Komala”→
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”→
Making strange arguments and dubious assertions about Pokémon lore is an important branch of my schtick. Normally this comes up in questions addressed to this blog, or in whatever mad articles I decide to write in between generational Pokémon reviews, or occasionally in my musings on playthroughs of new games. It’s relatively unusual for a routine Pokémon review to provoke me to a really energetic bit of wild speculation. Luckily(?), however, today we have just the Pokémon to set me off: Oranguru. Continue reading “Oranguru”→
Pikipek and Trumbeak are woodpeckers, one of the broad classes of bird that Pokémon hadn’t previously gotten around to making an early-game Normal/Flying-type out of. Let’s run through the checklist… Pidgey’s a waxwing, Hoothoot’s an owl, Taillow’s a swallow, Starly’s a starling, Pidove’s a pigeon, Fletchling’s a robin, and Spearow’s not a sparrow. With the exception of Hoothoot and Pidove, they’re all based – more or less loosely – on members of the songbird family (or, well, technically they’re a sub-order or something, but who’s counting?), and most of them gain more raptor-like traits as they evolve. Which… y’know… is fine; that reflects the huge diversity of the real songbirds, but it would be nicer if they weren’t all (with the exception of Hoothoot) Normal/Flying-types with fairly generic powers and a bias towards speed and physical attacks. Continue reading “Pikipek, Trumbeak and Toucannon”→
Yungoos and Gumshoos, as their names and weasel-like forms indicate, are mongeese (this being, of course, the obviously correct plural form of the word “mongoose,” which I will extol and defend beyond all reason). Although they look very like weasels, mongeese, as I only recently learned, are actually not part of the mustelid family (weasels, otters and badgers) at all, but part of an entirely separate branch of the order Carnivora. They are related to cats, hyenas and civets, while mustelids are much closer to dogs, bears and seals. This is probably the reason for Zangoose’s odd species designation “the Cat Ferret Pokémon” – mongeese are to cats what ferrets are to dogs. Continue reading “Yungoos and Gumshoos”→
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”→