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.
Right. Where were we? Almost done! I mean, perhaps not almost, because on top of the standard legendary Pokémon there’s a dozen Ultra Beasts in this generation, and then I think at some point I promised I would talk about all the older Pokémon with Alolan forms, and I need to talk about a bunch of the human characters too, and eventually those BASTARDS who DID THIS TO ME in the first place are going to announce generation VIII, which means people are going to want me to TALK about it, and I’m going to need to save up for a bloody Nintendo Switch, and- Y’know what, let’s just do Turtonator; I feel like blowing something up.
What do you think of a region dedicated solely to Dragon type Pokemon? Where everything is/evolves into a Dragon type?
Iiiiiii kinda think that’s a very iffy idea from a gameplay perspective. I mean, almost everything is super-effective against almost everything else, so the strategy gets much shallower. And you’re limiting the possible design space needlessly with a requirement that everything be a dragon. I don’t think we need a hundred new Dragon Pokémon. What would even be the benefit of a single-type region, anyway?
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”→
Remember Dragonite? I liked Dragonite; Dragonite was nice and enjoyed helping people. Not all Dragon Pokémon are nice, of course; Flygon, Haxorus and Altaria are, but Kingdra and Druddigon are basically crazy old men shouting at the kids to get off their lawns, Garchomp is ill-tempered though not malicious, and Salamence is just slightly insane and prone to extremes of anger and joy.
Hydreigon, on the other hand, is utterly, completely, irredeemably, certifiably, three-eggs-short-of-an-Exeggcute WHACKO.
Deino, Zweilous, and Hydreigon, whose names come from the German ein, zwei, drei, in reference to the number of heads they each have, are the only Dark/Dragon dual-type Pokémon. Dragon-types are (Druddigon and Altaria notwithstanding) among the strongest of all Pokémon, while Dark-types tend to be pathological liars, brooding loners, manipulative jerks, creepy stalkers or outright psychopaths. This is a recipe for disaster. I love recipes for disaster. Continue reading “Deino, Zweilous and Hydreigon”→
What do most people think of when they hear the word “dragon”? Reptilian traits are practically a given, and you can usually expect flight, but there’s a lot of room for interpretation. You might think of an ancient, majestic and fiercely intelligent creature, possibly with magical powers, or you might think of a terrifying fire-breathing predator that ravages the countryside while snacking on maidens (or possibly the other way around). You might think of both at once. You might also think of a grumpy old jerk who sits in a cave all day muttering darkly to himself and snapping at strangers.
Well, you might.
This big ugly git is Druddigon, the cave dragon Pokémon. He doesn’t have Dragonite’s serene wisdom, Salamence’s terrible power, Altaria’s preternatural grace or Flygon’s aura of mystery, and it drives him absolutely nuts. Druddigon is technically a Dragon-type, largely because there’s nowhere else to put him, but he’s very much the (literally) red-headed stepchild of the group. He has wings, but I don’t think he can fly (okay, he learns Aerial Ace, but that means nothing; take a look some time at the list of Pokémon that get Aerial Ace and you’ll see what I mean); the wings just provide a nice big surface area for taking in sunlight, which Druddigon needs to stay active since he’s cold-blooded. Continue reading “Druddigon”→
Time to bring out the big guns. Dragon Pokémon have always had a reputation for being among the roughest, toughest, most ornery Pokémon around, and my subjects today are no exception. Axew, Fraxure and Haxorus are territorial Pokémon that fight with pairs of massive tusks shaped like the blades of a double-axe, which grow harder, sharper and more powerful as they evolve, chopping through first wood, then rock, then steel. Oddly enough, Axew’s tusks quickly regenerate when broken, but Fraxure’s will not (presumably Haxorus’ won’t either, but since the Pokédex is silent on that question it’s entirely possible that there’s never been a recorded instance of a Haxorus’ tusk breaking in the first place). I doubt that’s a mistake; even I give Game Freak more credit than that, but I’m not sure what, if anything, it’s supposed to imply; maybe Axew have greater vitality because of their youth? Continue reading “Axew, Fraxure and Haxorus”→
Seeing as I just finished talking about the story of Black and White, I may as well take the opportunity to look a little more closely at the two Pokémon that are central to that story: the dragons of truth and idealism, Reshiram and Zekrom. The design for these two has its roots in the Taoist concept of yin-yang, which I believe states (forgive me; I’m a little hazy on exactly how Taoism works) that the world and everything in it come into being through the interaction and harmonisation of opposites. In much the same way, Unova, the region in which Pokémon Black and White are set, is said to have been created by Reshiram and Zekrom working in harmony, as a single being (and then devastated when the two split apart and fought). To play into this theme of dualism, Reshiram is graceful, avian and feminine, with a soft-sounding name, while Zekrom is dynamic, saurian and masculine, with a hard-sounding name. This is all wonderful and I love the way the designs complement each other and develop the theme and all that, and it’s very nicely done… but there’s one thing nagging at me. They’re the wrong way around. Continue reading “Reshiram and Zekrom”→