The Alolan archipelago has at last surrendered all (or, well, most) of its secrets – so now the time has finally come for us to leave behind the world we know. The stars have aligned, the ritual is complete, the Dark Forces from Parts Unknown have imparted their mystic secrets, the Ultra Wormhole beckons, and the void opens before us, promising nothing at the price of everything. Yep – we’re figuring out the Ultra Beasts. There’s ten of these freaky bastards (not counting Lunala, Solgaleo and Necrozma), and they’re each getting their own entry. My aim over the course of those ten articles will be not just to review the Ultra Beasts individually, but also to, hopefully, figure out… well, something about them as a group. What are they? What exactly is Ultra Space? Why are they such a threat to Alola? Are they really a group at all, or just a random sample of the variety of life that exists in an infinite multiverse? All these questions, and more, will… honestly, let’s face it, probably not be answered here on Pokémaniacal, but we’ll bloody well give it a go – starting with probably the best-known Ultra Beast of all, Nihilego.Continue reading “Nihilego”
I think it’s time to explore some of the more hostile reaches of Alola, with the volcano-dwelling salamander Pokémon, Salandit and Salazzle. Salandit and Salazzle could be based on any of several things, or a mix of all of them, or none of them. Physically they resemble fire belly newts (genus Cynops), a group of newt species native to Japan and southern and eastern China (in the strictest scientific sense, newts are a branch of the salamander family and, compared to other salamanders, remain more aquatic even after leaving their tadpole stage; the words are often used interchangeably though). Fire belly newts are so called for their black colouring with bright red or yellow flame-like markings, which warn predators that they are poisonous and unsafe to eat – so we have a ready-made fusion of the Fire and Poison elements right there. Salamanders also have a very long history of being associated with fire, with stories that they bathe in flames going back at least as far as Aristotle. We could almost stop at that – Salandit and Salazzle are fire salamanders that breathe fire, and they’d hardly be the first Pokémon to come out of “real animal + appropriate-sounding elemental powers” (*cough*Beartic*cough*). But no; there’s more to these crafty amphibians, and as so often in Alola, we can look for answers in the real archipelago of Hawai’i. Continue reading “Salandit and Salazzle”
Today we’ll be looking at some of Alola’s more passive-aggressive denizens, the Brutal Star Pokémon, Mareanie and Toxapex. Their physical designs are a little bit cryptic – Mareanie looks like a sort of spikey anemone, while Toxapex… Toxapex resembles nothing so much as a cancerous uvula glued to the inside of a dilapidated sea mine, with her twelve arms locking together to form an impenetrable dome that protects against not only predators but the force of waves, tides and ocean storms. In appearance, probably the closest animal to Toxapex would be something like a sea urchin, so bristling with spikes that its real body is essentially invisible, and probably not what you’re most worried about anyway. But it’s from their place in Alola’s ecology – specifically their relationship with one particular Pokémon, Corsola – that makes it clear that they’re probably supposed to be based on the dreaded crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci, an unusual many-armed, spiny starfish found throughout much of the Pacific ocean. Continue reading “Mareanie and Toxapex”
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”
These are not Pokémon and I refuse to let them be called Pokémon.
What, you’re going to argue with me?
Okay, look. Game Freak. I’m being reasonable here. I let you have Liepard, I let you have Stoutland, I let you have Woobat, I let you have Swadloon, I let you have Pignite and I let you have Archeops, but this is where I draw the line! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Trubbish and Garbodor, the trash bag Po-
Pok- P- Poké- Poka-
You heard me. Continue reading “Trubbish and Garbodor”
After having Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny show the Bug/Grass dual-types of yester-year how it’s done, it’s time to try pushing our luck and seeing whether we can do the same for the half-dozen assorted worthless Bug/Poison Pokémon. Here’s the latest addition to this already overfull type combination: Venipede. To be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say about Venipede or his evolved form, Whirlipede. Their main defining feature is that they’re extraordinarily ill-tempered. Beedrill were ill-tempered too, of course, but that was something they grew into – Weedle are perfectly sweet, if disturbingly pointy – and it was mainly about defending their nests from predators anyway. Venipede, on the other hand, have deep personal grudges against just about everything, which they express by repeatedly and insistently poisoning you. Continue reading “Venipede, Whirlipede and Scolipede”