Rockruff and Lycanroc

Rockruff.
Rockruff

Today’s Pokémon is Professor Kukui’s loyal partner, Rockruff, and his evolved form – or rather forms, as we’ll see – Lycanroc, the latest additions to Pokémon’s growing stable (or, uh… kennel) of dog Pokémon.  Physically, Rockruff’s design is very straightforwardly based on a domestic dog, perhaps an Akita Inu (a large Japanese dog breed with a wolf-like countenance and a fluffy tail).  Physically we’re looking at something quite close to Growlithe, with a different colour scheme and obviously very distinct powers, but very similar in terms of personality and behaviour.  Rockruff’s most distinctive feature is a “collar” (or “ruff”?) of stones, which apparently has a social function – Rockruff greet each other by rubbing their stony collars on each other’s bodies.  This little ritual apparently extends to their human friends as well, which can cause significant discomfort.  Nonetheless, Rockruff is one of the Pokémon most favoured for beginners in the Alola region because they have a friendly and loyal disposition that makes them easy to train and command, and are also extremely tenacious in battle.  In other words, they’re almost exactly like real dogs – energetic, devoted and affectionate to the point of being overbearing.  A bit generic, slotting in alongside Growlithe and Lillipup almost unnoticed, but that’s sort of to be expected for the basic stage of an early-game Pokémon, and the Rock element is incorporated in a neat way with the “collar.”  The meat of what this design is supposed to be doing comes with the evolved form: Lycanroc. Continue reading “Rockruff and Lycanroc”

Pokémon Moon, Episode 4: In Which I Learn, Rapidly And Under Duress, To Ride A Bull

Once he and Captain Ilima have finished explaining Z-moves to me, Professor Kukui suddenly remembers that he has an urgent task that cannot possibly wait: he’s lost Lillie.  Somehow.  I’m still not 100% certain that Lillie isn’t a terrorist, so in the interests of making sure someone is watching her, I agree to help look for her in the northern part of Melemele Island.  This area, route 3, is cordoned off by barricades.   Not for any particular reason, mind you.  Someone appears to have decided that the Pokémon beyond are too strong for civilians to tangle with unless they have an escort – a certified trainer who has completed the island’s trials.  Which… sort of raises the question of how Lillie got through, since she not only hasn’t completed any trials but insists that she’s not actually a trainer at all (which I’m pretty sure is not true; I’m not sure of the legal status of their relationship but for all practical purposes she certainly seems to be Nebby’s trainer).  Evidence that she has secret and subversive abilities continues to mount.  In any case, at Ilima’s command, the barricades open for me, and I am given access to the northern coastal road.

Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 4: In Which I Learn, Rapidly And Under Duress, To Ride A Bull”