Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini

So… I guess it’s time to learn about native Hawaiian mythology, huh?

Tapu Koko

We’re on the home stretch of seventh-generation Pokémon now, and today we’re talking about the four guardian deities of the Alolan islands: Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini.  These four are deeply woven into Alolan culture and identity, and they have a special relationship with the Alolan trial system and its administrators, the four Island Kahunas.  They’re also the pièce de résistance of generation VII’s unprecedented level of interest in taking inspiration from the culture, ecology and history of the real-world region its setting is based on.

Continue reading “Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini”

RandomAccess asks:

I recently thought of something, though you may want to save this for the inevitable review. Considering it’s propensity for “absorbing all the light in the universe” and basically being the ends of said universes, is it possible that Necrozma is Pokémon’s equivalent to the phenomenon astrophysicists call the “heat death of the universe?” That being entropy inevitable cooling down every single particle in the universe until there isn’t a bit of useable light or energy left and everything decays until there’s nothing left so that there’s basically nothing left except complete darkness?

I will indeed talk more about Necrozma when I get to the review, but I don’t know that this works with the way it’s portrayed in Ultra Smoon, or for that matter in the anime.  Necrozma used to be a being of light, a creative and generative force.  Its dark form that steals light is a result of some kind of damage it suffered in the past, but that damage is supposed to be fixable, resulting in the restoration of the radiant form we know as Ultra Necrozma (which sort of clashes with the feeling of inevitability that the whole “heat death”/entropy theme would be trying to evoke).

James Crooks [Patreon Cultist] asks:

Hi Chris,

Quick question: Looking at Vulpix’s pokedex entry from X, it mentions that vulpix are born with ‘just one snow-white tail’. Do you think this was foreshadowing for Alolan vulpix and do you think there is anything more you can make of this?

Hmmmmmmmm…

If that line were new in the X Pokédex I’d say yes, but it actually appeared previously in Leaf Green, and the idea of Vulpix being born with a white tail goes all the way back to at least the original Pokémon Stadium (Red and Blue specify one tail at birth, but not the colour).  It could be deliberate foreshadowing that they chose to recycle that particular line in generation VI, but X and Y reuse a lot of Pokédex lines from Fire Red and Leaf Green for the Pokémon that were around in generation III, so I think it’s more a nice coincidence than anything else.

Vulpix is a kitsune fox spirit, which grow more tails as they become older and more powerful, and turn white or gold when they get to nine tails, which is why Ninetales is a pale gold colour.  I don’t think their first tail is supposed to be white, though.  Nor are real foxes born with white tails that later turn red, as far as I know.  A lot of animals have special juvenile colouration that provides them with better camouflage while they’re young and vulnerable, but I don’t think white would help with that (unless you lived in a snowy area, which… well, Alolan Vulpix says hi).  It could just be meant as foreshadowing of the evolution to Ninetales, I suppose.

Poipole and Naganadel

Poipole

Finally, we’ve dealt with ALL the Ultra Beasts.  Nihilego, Buzzwole, Pheromosa, Xurkitree, Celesteela, Kartana, Guzzlord, all seven of them have been reviewed.

…what do you mean, they added more!?

Okay, so… 802 Pokémon was not enough, it’s never enough, it will never be enough until I’m dead, so Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon added another five Pokémon that weren’t in the original Sun and Moon, and can’t be traded back to those games either.  Four of those were additional Ultra Beasts, and for the sake of thematic unity I’m going to cover them before returning to the legendary Pokémon of Alola.  Our subjects for today are the first two, the only Ultra Beasts to evolve: Poipole and Naganadel, the Poison Pin Pokémon (the same species name as Nidoran!).

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Guzzlord

Guzzlord

We now come to the final Ultra Beast of Sun and Moon (though not the final one of generation VII as a whole), Guzzlord, a.k.a. UB05 Glutton, a.k.a. the Junkivore Pokémon.  Guzzlord consumes all, drawing everything into itself and growing ever larger, and in just the same way it has engorged this entry to a truly unreasonable size – so without any further preamble, I’m just going to jump into it.

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Kartana

[First of all: apologies for this one being late. I lost quite a bit of writing time last week flying back from Athens and recovering from jet lag (which, for me, tends to involve sleeping for 15 hours straight), but I think everything is just about back on track now!]

Kartana

Ever had a paper cut?

Hurts, doesn’t it?

Well, today’s Pokémon, the Ultra Beast Kartana, would like you to know that it lives to cause you that pain.  Every time you turn a page in a book too quickly and feel a sudden, sharp sting, or every time you lick an envelope and your tongue or lip screams at you to abort the mission because something has gone horribly wrong, Kartana is there, watching.  And laughing.

You’re welcome.

Continue reading “Kartana”

jeffthelinguist asks:

I am the true Jeff, not that impostah. By the way, you can’t prove I am him also indeed….you could ask him and he’d say no, but how do you know he’s not messing with you and he and I aren’t one and the same.

But for reals though, here’s a legit question:. Do you think Ultra sun/moon was a proper goodbye to all the handheld games? (If we don’t count the switch as a handheld game)

Listen, I’m not here to adjudicate who gets to be Jeff.  If there are multiple Jeffs-claimant, you should settle it like adults: in a secret death battle in a remote swamp, fought while under the influence of potent psychedelics, with no witnesses, no safeguards and no remorse.  To be clear, I have no interest whatsoever in knowing the course or outcome of this challenge.

Anyway.

Don’t we count the Switch as a handheld?  I mean… I know it’s not just a handheld, but it is designed to be usable as one.  I’m not sure what would constitute a proper goodbye, or really even what there is to say goodbye to.  I didn’t expect anything in particular from Emerald as a farewell to the Gameboy Advance.  Conversely, expecting something special from the last game on a particular console kinda seems like it’s letting all the other games off the hook.