I’ve got a Kantonian Gyarados pointed at your head and I compel you to make a regional form of Gyarados that’s a Dragon-type, with a capital D. I permit any historical, cultural, or mythological influences you want to pull from, and you may add a secondary type if you so choose, but it has to be Dragon. My Gyarados is locked and loaded, and your head is looking mighty Hyper Beamable. You have 72 hours. Good luck.
well what region, that-?
I mean if it’s just a Gyarados that’s from anywhere that’s not Kanto–
look, people ask me from time to time what I would do with a Pokémon region based on New Zealand, and I never really want to get into it, for all sorts of reasons not worth talking about here, but if that region were to exist and if someone else were to tell me I needed to make a regional form of Gyarados from some fµ¢£ing place and it doesn’t matter where… well, obviously it’s going to be a taniwha. Taniwha (the “wh” makes an f sound; TUH-nee-fuh) are serpentine water dragons, creatures of deep lakes, watery caves, river rapids and stormy seas. They are the distant cousins of the shapeshifting mo‘o of Hawai‘i, who are possibly one of the influences behind Salazzle. Taniwha are powerful, dangerous and fickle, with some of the European dragons’ tendency to abduct beautiful young women. On the other hand, some of them are friendly to humanity and can be appeased with gifts, chants and songs. They create and guard harbours, straits and waterways, and watch over those who show them the proper respect. When the ancestors of the Māori people first came to New Zealand, some of their canoes were guided across the ocean by ancient taniwha. A Pokémon based on a taniwha would have all of Gyarados’s renowned potential for destruction, especially if offended or treated disrespectfully, but could also be a benevolent guardian. You go to it with gifts, and not only does it not murder you, maybe it gives you its blessing for the next time you’re out on a boat. I think Pokémon trainers are supposed to be responsible for exactly this kind of give-and-take personal relationship with the embodied forces of nature that also exists in traditional Japanese spiritualism.