PokedDecember: Explaining Alolan Pokémon
Apparently, many people really liked how I came to dissect the origins of each of the alola forms, as many people had certain misunderstandings about them and believed that Game Freak had created some of them just to be funny and without relying on anything specific. But no, Game Freak always looks for a reason and a real, logical and interesting origin for each of the impressive creatures it creates, except in very few cases.
As a weeks ago I talked about the forms of Alola, today it seemed necessary to talk about the pokémon indigenous and native to the tropical islands of Alola. In general, the selection of creatures is still very good and strong, and Game Freak has already confirmed that before making designs, they decide an approximate number of creatures that they are going to make, therefore, the number of new monsters seems to be something they have already thought about from the beginning. In any case, quality has predominated over quantity, and I am happy, because it has left us very interesting and very curious designs.
As always, I must mention the unconditional help that our colleague Elchuni has given me with the images he has created. Without it, an article that was easy to understand and read, with instant examples, would have been a lot more difficult. Seriously, thank you very much, I and those who read the article thank you. Having said this, without further ado, let’s talk about the Alolan Pokémon and their designs.
For example, one of my favorite cases to begin with is Lurantis. This pokémon in the form of a pink praying mantis has liked many people, but it has also caused some doubts. Why does it have to be completely pinkish and cannot have more green colors as it is a plant type? Why is it a pure plant type and does not have the bug type incorporated into its typing? All the other elements of the pokémon are quite logical, and it makes sense that its characteristic movement is Solar Chuchilla when its hands are practically swords … But there are still doubts regarding those two questions.
The answer is that Lurantis is based on an orchid mantis. This type of mantis are completely pink because they camouflage themselves in the flower petals like the aforementioned orchids to attack their prey, who believe that they are going to take refuge in a safe place or that they are going to take a little nectar, pollen or whatever. whatever they take (I’m from letters). Game Freak has done something similar, but different. They have created a pokémon that is a gigantic and living flower, but that tries to look like a bug-type pokemon, to mislead any pokémon that thinks they can get against this creature (Although the bug type and the plant share many weaknesses).
Turtonator is clear that it is based on a turtle, yes, but to be specific, it is based on a matamata turtle, a species of land turtle (Although still with the ability to submerge in water) rare from South America that is characterized by a head triangular and ugly, two whiskers or filaments on the face and a blackish carapace, but above all, pointed. One of the characteristics of Tortunator is that to attack its prey, it camouflages itself and impersonates a rock until a clueless pokémon steps on it, and then it explodes its armor. This behavior comes from the matamata turtle, which also camouflages itself under water like a rock, although instead of attacking its prey with its shell, it engulfs them creating a whirlpool through its mouth. There might not be much more to say about Tortunator, but I’m passionate about how Game Freak looks for such strange animals to work on and at least tries to add related elements to them.
Another example of a pokémon with a design extremely similar to the original is Bruxish, which resembles … wait … humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa (Anyway, I invite a beer to whoever pronounces it perfectly). This fish, whose name means, “Pig’s nose fish,” is the official fish of Hawaii and is known for several things. One of them is that it is very aggressive and that is why its bites are famous in tropical islands (hence its theme of attacks related to teeth and bites), and another of these characteristics is that it has a thorn in the high point of the ridge, which in the design of the pokémon, translates to a psychic flower … These psychic powers come from the fact that to find food, it may seem at first that the fish has psychic powers to hunt something, but actually, it squirts water to locate things or spits sand to find debris to eat.
A much more interesting example, in my opinion, is that of Tsareena, why? It’s not really because of the fruit it represents, because in reality, with a little research, you easily find that it is based on a mangosteen, a Polynesian and tropical fruit, which would be good to find within the island region of Alola. It is not because of its appearance or even its name, because although it is true that it seems that the name refers to the tsars and tsarinas and Tsareena has boots that could look Russian, referring to an officer or a Russian woman, one of those fatal women who appear in movies … It seems to me that there is no particularly strong proof of this reasoning and that they have simply used the image of a strong and powerful woman.
What is really interesting about this pokémon has to do with its ability and its queen theme. There are certain stories that say that Queen Victoria of England, when it came to discovering the wonders of the Pacific islands, decided to reward the first person who brought her one of these fruits. Not only does Tsareena have on her head an eerily similar to the English crown, but her ability, Royal Presence, does the exact opposite of Queen Victoria, completely denying priority attacks. It is an incredibly interesting and very little known origin that is hidden under what many would think is just another feminine design, which makes me a bit sad.
Now let’s move on to a Pokémon that has received a lot of criticism from the same kinds of people who criticize inanimate object-based Pokémon like Chandelure and Garbodor, Palossand. Palossand is a sand castle pokémon, yes, and in reality, there is no hidden meaning within its design. On this occasion, what interests me the most is the thought process for the creation of this pokémon, because it is closely related to the ghost type that this creature has.
One of the best known and famous tropes in the horror genre is the haunted castle. Now, a haunted castle would be a bit weird to turn into a pokémon, not necessarily because you can’t create a design, but it would be impossible to create something that could really live in the middle of nature … and even in ruins or a cemetery, it would be out of place. Therefore, the best option to create a pokémon based on a castle would be a pokémon that is a sand castle, that could merge with the earth and that lived on the beaches.
Lastly, I want to talk about Bewear. This pokémon is based on a bear, yes, but for many people, the design seems too simple and badly colored. To them, that doesn’t really look like a pokémon, but rather a parody or a cheap Japanese copy … which is actually the real reason for Bewear. I mean, it’s not a pokémon that pokes fun at its competitors, not at all, but it is designed so that it doesn’t look completely natural, but rather a way of life similar to the anthropomorphic animal pets of companies and places that are extremely popular. in Japan.
Not only does it look great in the design, but one of Bewear’s great features is that it gives rib-breaking hugs, referencing the cheering strategies these people use in disguise. And the name in English … The name in English is pure love and genius. It is not putting two names together in one, like Mudsdale (Mud and Clydesdale) or hundreds of other pokémon, but the name itself, it sounds like beware (Be careful), it is a paronym for bear (bear), and the ware that is I would suppose that it must have, it has been changed by a wear (Dress). Bewear is a comic pokémon that fulfills its function perfectly, while it has a theme that we have not seen anything like before in the franchise and with which it fully complies.
To finish, I want to say that there are still more designs to get second senses from. I love the new philosophy when it comes to creating pokémon, and it is interesting to see how various mythologies and stories come together in a few data. I’m fascinated by how they create weird and wacky creatures out of real items, and how they make it evident to people who do research or who know the story behind the designs. Game Freak has never lost its touch when it comes to creating pokémon, and now, they think differently when making them.