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.
Pokémon is a bamboo alien, a moon rocket, and
an ancient Japanese princess.
promise it makes sense.
rocket-booster arms, long flowing hair, steel gown and tiny head make it one of
the most bizarre of all the Ultra Beasts, but once you dig through its lore and
inspiration… well, you can see where they were coming from. Let’s take a look at the Launch Pokémon.
Once more I am faced with my immortal enemy, the creeping darkness at the heart of Pokémon that threatens to bring down all that we hold dear…
…the Pikachu clones.
I don’t even think I’m allowed to just reflexively dislike these fµ¢&ing things anymore because of that damn Pachirisu that won a world championship; no, I’m actually supposed to have reasons now, whatever that means. Well… here goes nothing. Continue reading “Togedemaru”→
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”→
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”→
Okay, you remember how I said last time that I thought I was just about done with all the genuinely bad Pokémon?
I was lying.
I’m doing Heatmor and Durant together because, although they aren’t part of a single evolutionary family, they do in a sense ‘go together.’ Heatmor is a bloody great anteater that some delightfully mad person has decided to splice together with a blast furnace or something, and Durant is an angry giant ant plated from head to abdomen in steel, and Heatmor’s favourite food. Durant, the Pokédex insists, covers itself in steel plating specifically to protect itself from Heatmor, which makes absolutely no sense in a world of elemental ‘types’ with distinct strengths and weaknesses relative to one another. Why does this make no sense? Because Heatmor is a Fire Pokémon, and relying on metal armour to protect yourself from a Fire-type is tantamount to suicide according to everything we have ever seen about the way this world works. Now, evolution (in the real-world biological sense, not the Poké-world pseudozoological whacko sense) is an insanely complicated phenomenon, this I will grant you, but no-one and nothing is going to convince me that natural selection would actually push a species to become more vulnerable to its own major natural predator. Continue reading “Heatmor and Durant”→
It was, of course, a statistical inevitability that we would eventually get a set of chess-themed Pokémon – and here they are, the sword-wielding Dark/Steel Pokémon, Pawniard and Bisharp. In fact, not content with merely using bladed weapons, these Pokémon are literally made of interlocking blades, just to make absolutely sure that they can cut you to ribbons just by running into you. As always, the first question is: what were Game Freak thinking here? I don’t mean that rhetorically or sarcastically, I’m genuinely curious. This design seems to be going in a couple of different directions and I’m not sure which one they started from or where they’re trying to take them or how they’re supposed to fit together. Their vicious and aggressive personalities seem to follow sensibly from the blade theme, which seems to be Pawniard’s main schtick (or alternatively, simply from the fact that he’s a Dark-type; the vast majority of them are born to be jerks). Then, on a completely different tack, we have the chess idea, with their names referencing the pawns and bishops of European chess. Continue reading “Pawniard and Bisharp”→
Pokémon, it is known, may not all be completely natural; many owe their existence to human activity in the last few centuries. Voltorb and Electrode, whose bodies are modelled on Pokéballs, are almost certainly artificial in some way. Grimer and Muk were born from the toxic waste of human industrialisation. Magnemite and Magneton certainly seem artificial but their true nature is extremely mysterious. Today’s Pokémon, Klink, Klang and Klinklang, continue the theme. These bizarre Steel-type Pokémon seem to be entirely mechanical and evolve by adding on extra components. The resident Professor Tree of the Unova region, Professor Juniper, investigates Klink during the course of the game and determines that they did not exist in Unova more than one hundred years ago, when they appeared suddenly in an area called the Chargestone Cave. How she can possibly have figured this out is beyond me, but (in fairness to Aurea Juniper) she’s probably the least incompetent of the regional professors to date, so I’m inclined to take her word for it. Continue reading “Klink, Klang and Klinklang”→
I mentioned recently that it’s been a good year for Bug Pokémon, and it continues to be… well, interesting at least… with these curious specimens: Karrablast, Escavalier, Shelmet and Accelgor. Shelmet is a fairly unexciting pink snail-like Pokémon that lives inside a helmet and sprays acid when people bother it, and Karrablast is an utterly unremarkable horned beetle that… sprays acid when people bother it. Things get interesting when we put them together. When Karrablast and Shelmet are “bathed in an electric-like energy together” (obfuscating Pokédex-speak for “when you trade a Karrablast for a Shelmet”) both of them evolve in a rather unusual way: Karrablast swipes Shelmet’s armour. Continue reading “Karrablast, Escavalier, Shelmet and Accelgor”→
Today’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”→
Okay, what’s next in the Pokédex after Conkeldurr?
…oh, gods. No, I’m not doing that. Not right after Gigalith and Conkeldurr. I can only take so much idiocy. They will live, for now.
Hey, look! I missed one out! Yeah, I’m doing that one instead.
Meet Drilbur, the mole Pokémon. Okay, I know the Pokédex says we already have a “Mole Pokémon” but be honest; none of you out there ever actually thought that Diglett looked anything like a mole, did you? If anything, Diglett and Dugtrio are actually equivalent to earthworms, not moles, since they apparently play a role in maintaining soil fertility by turning and mixing it, whereas real moles are regarded as pests. Drilbur and the evolved Excadrill can be pests too in the wrong place because their burrows can interfere with whatever the human population is trying to accomplish underground, like building subway lines, but since they’re also brilliant at building tunnels for humans they tend to be forgiven. I quite like how the two Pokédex entries for Black and White illustrate how the same Pokémon’s abilities can both help and hinder; it strikes me as quite a nice touch. I also like Drilbur’s design; he’s cute but no pushover. You’re not exactly going to run screaming, but this is clearly still not a Pokémon you want to mess with. Continue reading “Drilbur and Excadrill”→