#121 Starmie

Starmie is feeling down

Starmie is feeling down

Starmie is a criminally underrated Pokemon. It’s pretty great in battle, and it’s got an interesting design. That same yellow thing all over Staryu is now much more uniform in shape, and the round gem has been updated to a brilliantly cut jewel. A Psychic typing was superglued on top of all that and now we have Starmie.

Now, let me make one thing clear. I like Starmie, but it creeps me out. It’s a tenacious like. I can’t help it. I like the purple color and the whole two starfishes stacked on top of each other thing, but I don’t like how the bottom one moves around.

Get that outta here!

Pidgeotto has had enough of your mess Starmie!

See, when I look at Starmie all I can see is two Starfish stacked on top of each other. It looks like they’d move in tandem and all that, but they don’t. Starmie is able to move the top or bottom starfish separately of the other, and it looks super creepy. Sometimes it stands on the front star while the back one spins around, and sometimes it’s reversed.

And I’m talking full spins here, not just like they have a little bit of freedom. These are moving like they’re not attached to anything except for a drill.

Don't mind me! Just haunting your dreams!

Don’t mind me! Just haunting your dreams!

Then that raises all kinds of questions. How well attached are Starmie’s two halves? Do they grind up against each other and make a horrible sound that is just edited out of the games and show? Or do they make no sound? Do they have to be well-oiled to make no sound? Are they cutting out scenes of Misty spraying some WD-40 between the two halves so Starmie doesn’t make squeaky sounds?

More than anything else though, this just makes me think that Starmie has it all wrong. While it’s busy shooting water, ice, or psychic energy at opponents it’s missing on the best possible way for it to attack.

By aiming for the teeth with the gem!

By aiming for the teeth with the gem!

That method, of course, is spinning. I know I said last time that Staryu could probably spin and do some damage pretty well, and for the unitiated it may seem like Starmie would be less effective at it. After all, two blades with some space inbetween shouldn’t work, should it? I actually don’t know…

…if they’re spinning in the same direction. Thanks to Starmie’s unique ability to control them individually, it can, theoretically, spin the two in opposite directions. And that, I know for a fact, is more effective than a single spinning blade.

Or so I’ve been told. Years ago there was this show called Pitchmen on the Discovery channel starring the late great Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan. In one of the episodes they showed off a man who’d invented what was basically a handheld saw with two blades placed close together that spun in opposite directions. He then proceeded to cut a car in half with is miniature saw.

All I’m saying is imagine Starmie making use of that incredible destructive power and just like, flying straight through a Snorlax or something. That’d be horrifying, but also educational for everyone.

DID YOU KNOW?

One thing that’s always frustrating to hear is someone trying to determine what a Pokemon is based off of. Like, it’s obvious that Staryu is a starfish, but what about Starmie? To me that answer is obvious too, it’s not based off anything in particular. They took their already stylized Starfish Pokemon, and added onto it to make it look cool and unique.

Some people don’t like that answer though, and look for other solutions.

Starmie! Circa 500 BC

Starmie! Circa 500 BC or so

Way back in the ancient times of Mesopotamia there was a lot of Gods and Goddesses being worshiped.  Among those was a Goddess of Heaven, known as Inanna (Or Ishtar, as she may have also been known? I’m not 100% there’s a lot of info here to take in at once)

Anyway, as cool as it would be to have a Pokemon based off of an ancient Goddess, she doesn’t hold much relevance to this story. However, way back then, because people didn’t have the modern niceties of things like telescopes, Venus was thought to be two stars in the night sky. The morning star, and the evening star. These were supposedly Inanna in her celestial form, and basically became a symbol to represent her. Two stars laid on top of each other, with a circle in the center. The star of Ishtar. It does bear a pretty interesting resemblance to Starmie.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to believe this was intentional, I don’t think it was. If anyone out there can provide any more supporting evidence I’d love to think that GameFreak did something that cool, but for now I’m just going to assume that it was a cool, unintentional reference.

And a sweet shirt design too!

And a sweet shirt design too!

USING STARMIE IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Starmie is actually pretty solid in battle. It’s lost a bit of usefulness as of Generation 6 thanks to the Dark type’s buffs and the continued weakening of the Psychic type, but it still can surprise you if used carefully!

Anyway, Starmie’s got two main things it can pull off, just like Staryu. An offensive set that utilizes a choice item and a less offensive set that utilizes Rapid Spin. If you’re going to be a Rapid Spinner, then you’ll of course want Rapid Spin in your arsenal, along with Scald, Recover, and Ice Beam / Thunderbolt / Psychic. Since Eviolite no longer works Leftovers will have to suffice, and you’ll need to pump EV’s into HP and Speed, while Natural Cure is the best defensive ability you get.

The Choice set is mildly more interesting though. Basically pick from a Choice Scarf or Choice Specs, and make sure Analytic is the ability this time. Hydro Pump over Scald again, and Thunderbolt is also a must. However, you’ll also want Trick, so you can force that Scarf or Specs onto someone at whim, and cripple them with the burden of a Choice item they weren’t expecting! After that you’ll really just want to pick between Ice Beam or Dazzling Gleam for your last move. Ice Beam offers greater coverage, but Dazzling Gleam gives you a solid weapon against Dark types that will try to stop you.

Either way, Starmie is pretty solid, and a Pokemon I’d definitely try out if you haven’t yet.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Two stars. Purple. And a big light-up gem in the center! Starmie is pretty and cool all at once.

DESIGN: 4/5
I like the simplicty behind just adding a second star behind the first, even if it is a little lazy. The updated gem is a great touch too.

BATTLE: 4/5
Another solid contender. I love Starmie in battle and hope it gets another surge of popularity soon. maybe in the form of a mega!

REST IN PEACE: BILLY/MAYS
I don’t care if anyone else doesn’t care. I was a big fan of the show Pitchmen, and to see it end so soon due to Billy Mays’s untimely passing makes me sad ;_;

OVERALL: 4.3/5
121
Coming soon to a jugular near you!

 

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#120 Staryu

I can't let you do that, Dave.

I can’t let you do that, Dave.

Staryu is a starfish. It’s brown, and has a big fancy jewel in the middle of it. Staryu is kind of underrated in my opinion, as far as cool Pokemon go.

Maybe that’s because it’s wearing some kind of weird harness. The kind that you’d normally see in black, instead of the full yellow of Staryu. The big yellow piece of its body with a jewel set in the middle has “straps” that go around each bit of the star except one. Normally I’d say that this bit without a yellow wrapping around it is the head, but it’s always depicted as somewhere along the sides. Typically the left, or right from its point of view, but not always.

Staryu answers the call to action!

Staryu answers the call to action!

I’ve always liked Staryu for its practical applications, and hated it for what it actually did. See, when you look at a Staryu, there’s probably a few interesting ways you can come up with for it to attack, and they all involve spinning. Five sharp points and the ability to fly and spin are all Staryu needs to be a fearsome battle, as it can spin its body like a buzzsaw and scare everything away.

“But Professor Swadloon!” I can hear you say. “What about the inevitable Rock or Steel typed opponents! How can Staryu make use of its Water typing to attack those kinds of enemies?”

Easy. You see that big orb in the center of Staryu? It’s perfect for that kind of thing. Just have it blast water out of it or something. That’s the easy, obvious thing, isn’t it?

"We have no idea what we're doing." - Everyone who works on the anime

“We have no idea what we’re doing.” – Everyone who works on the anime

Nope. Apparently the top point of a Staryu is where the people who animated the anime unanimously decided a Staryu should fire water from. It raises all kinds of disgusting questions, like is there a horrible hole at the top of a Staryu filled with pressurized liquids that it can fire? Why doesn’t it use the gem?

Well, the gem thing seems like it’d be solved actually. Contrary to other forms of media constantly using gems to harness lasers and such, Pokemon wants to use its gems realistically. The gem can’t, and won’t fire horrible streams of water at everything that moves.

Stars though? Stars are okay.

Stars though? Stars are okay.

That all goes out the window when Staryu needs to use Swift though. Suddenly that gem can create and fire projectiles perfectly fine.

Everyone who works on the anime clearly had no idea what sort of continuity they should try and establish for the starfish. Not even with his cries! While most Pokemon will say their name in some shape or form, Staryu is different. Instead, like some kind of crazy karate master it’ll just shout, “HI-YA!” every time it does anything. There has never been and will never be an explanation for this.

So in my own personal head canon, Staryu is also a black belt in addition to being a starfish. It’s the only way anything makes sense.

ALSO IT CAN SUMMON THE DRAGON BALLS

ALSO IT CAN SUMMON THE DRAGON BALLS

DID YOU KNOW?

Aside from legendaries, most Pokemon have a gender. Most, that is. Staryu and Starmie are one of the very few species of non-legendary Pokemon that are genderless.

HOWEVER! It seems that the starfish Pokemon may have been intended to have a gender at some point.

And maybe a shuriken too!

And maybe a shuriken too!

In Pokemon Gold and Silver, the games to introduce breeding, Staryu is actually programmed to be able to learn some egg moves. Just in case you’re uninitiated, a genderless Pokemon can ONLY breed with Ditto, and because the only move Ditto can learn is Transform, there’s no way to pass on egg moves to a baby formed by a Genderless Pokemon + Ditto.

Aurora Beam, Barrier, and Supersonic were all programmed to be passed on to a baby Staryu. In addition, in Generation 2 only, Staryu and Starmie both were able to learn the move Attract. As the move implies, Attract will make your opponent fall in love with you if they’re the opposite gender, and lessen the chance of them attacking you.

Unfortunately, a genderless Pokemon learning Attract doesn’t mean it’ll be able to attract everything. Instead, it does the opposite, and is able to attract nothing. Not even other Genderless Pokemon.

So there’s your bit of a history lesson. Now go forth artists, and make horrible pictures of what male and female Staryu and Starmie would look like!

USING STARYU IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

Staryu has two main roles it can do in Pokemon battles. First, it has access to the relatively-rare move Rapid Spin, so it can be used to clear hazards on your side of the field. Secondly, it can just be used as a typical fast Special sweeper thanks to its solid 85 Speed and 70 Special Attack stats.

If you’re going to be a spinner, you’ll want to hold Eviolite, and, of course, give it Rapid Spin. Since you’ll want to be focusing on survivability, Scald is the best STAB option for that nice 30% Burn chance. Ice Beam, Psychic, or Thunderbolt are all good options for that coveted third slot, so you’ll need to pick one because your last slot is picked for you. Recover. It’s still probably the best healing move available to anyone since it has no drawbacks whatsoever. Staryu also has excellent abilities in the form of Analytic and Natural Cure. While Analytic’s free 30% boost may sound tantalizing, it depends on moving second to activate, and Staryu’s decent speed makes it a non option. Natural Cure, on the other hand, will heal any status effect placed on Staryu if it switches out, and thanks to Eviolite and Recover, it’s likely to be a thorn in your opponent’s side for some time.

If, however, you want to run a more offensive version. Give Staryu a Life Orb, and replace Scald with Hydro Pump. Psychic, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt all offer pretty solid coverage, and are bolstered by the Life Orb bonus.

Between the two I’d definitely go for the bulky Rapid Spin option, but because that option sounds better on paper you can frequently catch people off guard if you go for a more offensive version.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
I’m a big fan of Staryu’s design. Perfectly recognizable as a starfish, but also changed up enough thanks to the addition of a big red jewel in the center. That yellow bit is kinda weird and unsettling though.

DESIGN: 3/5
Staryu is kinda boring in terms of design though. I think I can vaguely see where they were going with the jewel to make it kinda look like a gem set into a ring. Sort of. Staryu’s overall shape though doesn’t really add anything to it and just makes it look weird.

BATTLE: 4/5
Relatively low defenses are patched up decently by Eviolite. If Staryu had better base defenses it would be absolutely amazing in battle.

HI-YAH!: HI-YAH!/HI-YAH!

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Just doin’ some calisthenics!

#119 Seaking

This guy was angrier the last time I saw him.

This guy was angrier the last time I saw him.

There’s a lot of boring, generic fish Pokemon. In Generation 1, Seaking is easily the worst of the group, because it’s an evolution. Goldeen set the template, and instead of evolving in any meaningful way, Seaking just gets a different coloration, slightly different shape, and a bigger horn. It’s just… boring.

And yet, it somehow became a meme.

Because there's nothing else to talk about with Seaking!

Because there’s nothing else to talk about with Seaking!

I just wanted to get out of the way because there’s nothing to Seaking.It’s boring. A (now-ancient) meme from 2007 is the most traction this thing has ever had with anyone, and they had to draw angry eyebrows onto the fish to add to it.

I’ve been staring at this page for hours because after bringing that up I can’t find anything new to talk about. Like, nothing. I only have a series of thoughts that I can’t really form into proper statements. So, I’m going to go ahead and do that. For the rest of this first section, enjoy my first ever stream of consciousness about Seaking.

This is what you get for being so boring!

This is what you get for being so boring!

Seaking is a darker shade of orange than Goldeen. Seaking’s fins have dark spots. The back of Seaking looks like a Butterfree’s wings. Seaking’s horn is commonly depicted as spinning, much like Rhydon’s horn in the Pokemon Stadium games. Seaking is fat. Seaking has Goldeen’s lips. Seaking has two sharp fangs. I wonder if Seaking is secretly a vampire. I bet if Seaking was a vampire it’d be cooler. What could they add to Seaking to make it more vampiric?

First it has to stop jobbing to Poliwrath.

First it has to stop jobbing to Poliwrath.

Vampires are cool. Vampires are also immortal. Like, real immortal. Not that fake immortal, like a lot of people like to claim. I think Hitler said he was immortal at some point. That obviously wasn’t true. I think. Maybe the plot of Wolfenstein has some basis in reality though, and Hitler is still alive out there. Would it sitll be considered living if he’s in a robot suit? Or is that a form of death. I think he had some voice clips in 3D.

He was speaking English though. Maybe it was just a lookalike. A stand-in. What if that wasn’t actually a robot suit, and was just power armor. That would’ve been insane. It’s a good thing BJ Blazkowicz saved the day on that one. What if Hitler was a vampire? What could have stopped him then?

Then again, when are vampires a serious threat in cool things?

A lot of things, probably.

How do we really know that Hitler wasn’t a vampire anyway. There’s so many ridiculous versions of vampires that have cropped up through the annals of history that I sometimes wonder if there are real vampires. Just like, immune to sunlight. And don’t need to drink blood.

Like, what if everything we know about vampires is wrong? What if all of us are vampires? What if the only non-vampires are the people who can’t handle sunlight, and have to drink blood to survive?

What if Seaking was a vampire?

And what if Mozart was still alive?

And what if Mozart was still alive?

DID YOU KNOW?

Once again displaying a staggering amount of laziness, Seaking is just a couple more goldfish put together to make a new one. I know that might sound like a weirdly specific thing to complain about, but a lot of future fish Pokemon are basically variations on their animal. Aside from the horn that isn’t even that big, Seaking is not.

Fancy!

Fancy!

Unlike Goldeen’s basis, the stuff that Seaking comes from is unfortunately significantly less pretty. This time the species of fish that Seaking’s body is based off of is called the Azuma Nishiki. They’re a type of Veil Tailed Goldfish, just like the Tosakin that Goldeen is based on. Unfortunately, they don’t look much like Seaking, aside from their shape.

That’s because their coloring is likely based off of a second fish. The Shubunkin.

I can see the resemblance from here!

I can see the resemblance from here!

And then there was a horn. And some sharp teeth. It’s still got that fluttery wispy tail though, making me think it’d be difficult for it to attain any sort of real speed and actually do well in a fight.

Seaking is useless. Don’t use it if you can help it. There’s so, so many better Water types. Go find a real Goldfish, and play Pokemon with that instead. It won’t affect you in battle, and it looks cooler!

USING SEAKING IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

I literally just said don’t use Seaking. What are you doing reading this? Stop!

If you’re just skimming though, I’ll go ahead and tell you how to use Seaking, should you want to. Seaking still has the wonderful ability Lightning Rod, and an okay-ish amount of bulk. It’s no longer got access to Eviolite, thanks to being fully evolved though, so you’ll want to attach a Life Orb to it for extra power. Generally, the sames moves as before work too. Aqua Tail or Waterfall for STAB, Megahorn, Knock Off, and Drill Run are good options for attacks. If you want to sacrifice coverage for power, Drill Run can be removed in exchange for Return, but I’d rather have Drill run myself. Throw EV’s into Attack and Speed to do the best you can with what little you have at your disposal.

In normal, singles battles, Seaking is phenomenally useless. It has a very low Attack Stat, so its decent-ish coverage combined with Lightning Rod will no longer make it worth considering. I will say though, that it has managed to find some use in Doubles, and the VGC meta in years past. I don’t know much anymore, but thanks to Lightning Rod it can neutralize Electric attacks from your opponents, or even absorb them from your own side for Special Attack boosts to fuel Surf or Ice Beam. In addition, things like Soak, and Horn Drill are nice little wrinkles to its moveset that are completely useless in singles battles.

I don’t know how well it still holds up today, but I can say this much. Don’t use Seaking in singles.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Dumb. Generic. These are some words that come to mind when discussing Seaking.

DESIGN: 1/5
Awul. Boring. These are some more words that come to mind when discussing Seaking.

BATTLE: 1/5
Seriously. Stats people. A little lesson in minmaxing could have saved Seaking.

WHAT HAS SEAKING: DONE/TO YOU?
I don’t know but I hope it goes away and never returns.

OVERALL: 1/5
119119f
Male Seaking still have a slightly larger horn!

#118 Goldeen

The superior orange and white fish

The superior orange and white fish

Goldeen is a butterface. Everything on Goldeen is nice and pretty, but the face… The face just kinda ruins it. A fish with eyelids is kinda weird, but the green eyes are pretty. The weird part is the big sharp horn, and the weird pink lips. Because it makes Goldeen look very feminine, but, well, you should know how that winds up when Goldeen evolves.

It doesn’t. I don’t quite know what Seaking translates to in Japanese, but it doesn’t really matter. Because it loses all of that too.

And it gets a lot smaller too!

And it gets a lot smaller too!

I think my problem with all of it is that Goldeen evolves into Seaking. If Seaking and Goldeen were two sides of the same coin, separate but equal it’d be cool. But if Goldeen, a super feminine Pokemon with a tail that looks like a nice frilly… thing. It’s not quite a dress? In the anime Misty wore a swimsuit styled after a Goldeen and it really drove home just how feminine this thing looks.

But then Seaking is a big ugly thing. Is it trying to tell us a lesson that nothing lasts forever, especially beauty? Or… what. It’s also got weird pink lips. I don’t know if these are just supposed to be fish lips or if they’re supposed to be visually reminiscent of a woman wearing lipstick.

Like what you see big boy?

Like what you see big boy?

I mean I’m no genius when it comes to recognizing things that the artist may have intended when making a Pokemon, but I’d like to think that I can tell with a design as deliberate as Goldeen’s. It’s referred to as the Goldfish Pokemon, despite not being yellow, or Golden colored at all.

You know what else I love? Being proven wrong. Sometimes some people have huge egos and don’t like when they’re proven to be incorrect about something, but I kind of love it. Because it means I’ve actually learned something. And I’m saying that because I totally did. See, when I began this I was criticizing Goldeen for not looking like a goldfish. And why was that? Because this is the only mental image that would pop up when I searched my brain for goldfish.

meep

meep

Small. Golden. Bug eyed.

Turns out there’s several species of the things. And that’s when I get annoyed. Goldeen has an absolutely atrocious name in Japanese. It’s Tosakinto, which is only 2 letters off of the name of a species of goldfish, the Tosakin. And what does a Tosakin goldfish look like?

OH MY GOD SUDDENLY THIS IS SO MUCH LAZIER

OH MY GOD SUDDENLY THIS IS SO MUCH LAZIER

Yup. I started writing this knowing one thing, and now I’ve been proven wrong. IN MY OWN ARTICLE. But, rather than rewrite the entire first half of this, I figured I’d let you all know that you’re probably wrong too. Also Tosakin aren’t the only goldfish that Goldeen seems to resemble. There’s also a touch of what may be veiltail in there too maybe. I don’t know. I’m not a fish person. Ask a fish person.

It's pretty though!

It’s pretty though!

DID YOU KNOW?

This one is undoubtedly obvious to a lot of people, but I’m going to go forward with it anyway.

Goldeen has been in all 4 Super Smash Bros. games, and hasn’t been playable in any of them. It shares this rare distinction with only two other Pokemon, Snorlax and Mew!

Goldeen64

In Smash Bros for N64, Goldeen was a horrible jpeg that would promptly use splash by flopping around uselessly. If it was lucky it would fall off an edge and into the infinite abyss below. If it was unlucky then it would just keep flopping around on land until the lack of water made the poor thing explode in a puff of fishy vapor.

In Melee, Goldeen was upgraded to having an actual 3D model now. When it came out of a Pokeball it would use Splash, but, this time, if it was on a stage that had water on the outside, it would swim int he water and go offscreen if it managed to flop off and land in the water.

There wasn’t much of a change going from Melee to Brawl unfortunately. The model might have been sharpened up a tiny bit, had its animations tweaked, and maybe got an updated sound effect. It’s essentially the same Goldeen though. Still comes out and uses Splash until it expires.

And finally, in the recently released Smash 4, Goldeen makes another appearance. Once again it uses Splash, but this time it’s got a really nice new HD model and texture. Goldeen has never looked better!

Fun fact: Goldeen can’t learn Splash in any Pokemon game.

USING GOLDEEN IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Not much to look at here. Goldeen is remarkably average for an LC Pokemon across the board. However, it is saved by access to a pretty snazzy ability. Or, at least, it’s good on a Water type like Goldeen.

Lightning Rod! Yes, Goldeen gets access to Lightning Rod, which not only removes one of its 2 weaknesses, it also gives Goldeen a boost to its Special Attack stat when it’s hit by an Electric move. Unfortunately, Goldeen has a terrible Special Attack stat, so it’ll mainly be there as a fantastic pairing with Eviolite in adding to Goldeen’s survivability.

Anyway, Goldeen’s movepool is relatively shallow, but it does give it a pretty wide amount of coverage. Aqua Tail is a good Water typed STAB, meaning you’ve got 3 slots left for coverage. Luckily, Goldeen’s shallow movepool includes the great options Megahorn, Drill Run, and Knock Off! If you don’t want to use one of those, well, too bad. The only other option worth considering is Poison Jab, but those 4 moves are significantly better coverage options than Poison Jab. However, if you’re having a hard time with Fairies, then by all means, feel free to remove anything but Aqua Tail for it.

Add EV’s to Attack and Speed, and your Goldeen will be good to go! Just make sure you have Lightning Rod as an ability, because removing a weakness entirely is absolutely amazing.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
A really pretty fish with a frilly wavy tail fin pattern thing. Shame about that face though.

DESIGN: 1/5
This would have scored higher had I not learned that goldfish come in more than one variety. This is laziness.

BATTLE: 3/5
Middling stats prevent it from achieving greatness, but a fantastic ability and pretty decent coverage despite the shallow movepool make it worth considering.

****: YEAH/SEAKING
You’re a day early. I’ll be covering that tomorrow.

OVERALL: 2.3/5
118118f
Male Goldeen have a bigger horn than female!

#117 Seadra

Now do it again, but angrier! And sharper!

It’s been 10 long days since I did Horsea. Sometimes life likes to grab you by the cheeks and throw you around for awhile, so you can’t spare the time required to write dumb, mildly amusing articles about Pokemon. But now I’m back, and I’m going to make a goal for myself here and now. Within 30 days of this being posted, I will be done with Generation 1, and be on Generation 2! In addition, I’ll make up for my 10 days of absence by doing an extra feature. Another review, but this time, of a fan game. A fan game I am not a fan of. Stay tuned!

Horsea has gone through some growing pains and become the much more intimidating Seadra. Or, at least Seadra is pretty much as intimidating as you can get a seahorse to look without strapping real weapons onto it. All the nice smooth curves are gone and have been replaced with innumerable sharp edges, and a scaly belly.

It’s still just a seahorse though. A three foot eleven seahorse, but it completely lacks any sort of teeth to make it scary.

BOO ON THAT AWFUL PUN

BOO ON THAT AWFUL PUN

I mentioned it last time but I do like how Seadra’s eyes are black now. it’s a subtle thing to make it look more intimidating for reasons I can’t properly explain. Why are black eyes intimidating? I don’t know, and neither do you, so don’t even lie and say you do.

Unless you’re like, an actual expert on visual arts and such. Then go ahead, and please explain. I’d like to know! I find that sort of thing fascinating.

Unlike Seadra, who’s just kind of… there.

Don't say it in front of the Seadra!

Don’t say it in front of the Seadra!

I mentioned it ages ago but I’ll mention it again here. Generation 1 was actually intended to have 190 Pokemon initially, instead of the 151 we got. Included in the 39 that were cut was Horsea’s second evolution, Kingdra. Seadra was probably never intended to be released as a fully evolved Pokemon, and it definitely does have a mid-tier look to it compared to most of the other Pokemon in Generation 1.

But do you know what really bothers me? Horsea and Seadra are the first Pokemon numerically that absolutely can not function outside of the water. I suppose an argument can be made for Tentacuel and Tentacruel, but we don’t know how strong those tentacles are. We do know that their bodies are primarily water, so they’re not exactly bulky.

This is a whole other level though.

This is a whole other level though.

Seadra’s body ends in a cute little curly tail thing. It can’t uncurl that, and have a makeshift leg to stand on, and, given its shape, there’s no way that it can even attempt to work on land.

But you know what? I’m glad that Seadra has this distinction. Because there is absolutely nothing to talk about with Seadra. While Seadra may be the first one numerically, it’s definitely not the only Pokemon that can’t work on land, as the very next line is Goldeen, and soon after that we have Magikarp. So, let’s all give a thanks to Seadra, for being in the right place at the right time, and saving me from writer’s block.

DID YOU KNOW?

 Evolution! It’s what Pokemon do when whatever their personal random requirements to do so are fulfilled. It’s rather different from real life evolution, and a few scholarly individuals have pointed out that “evolution” in Pokemon is something more akin to metamorphosis.

IGNORE THE FACT THAT SEADRA IS STANDING OUT OF WATER

IGNORE THE FACT THAT SEADRA IS STANDING OUT OF WATER

However, whether you believe in evolution or not, Seadra’s Pokedex entries actually make reference to the real life version. Ahem, and I quote, from Pokemon HeartGold.

An examination of its cell revealed the presence of a gene not found in Horsea. It became a hot topic.

Awful clothing stores aside, this is an interesting reference to real life evolution, where, well, exactly that happens. Genes not found in the older species will pop up in the newer ones, giving them different traits, even if not visible. Of course, in context, it also makes sense as it’s referencing Seadra’s affinity to the Dragon type, and how it’ll evolve if traded holding a scale.

And, yeah. That’s it. Seadra is boring. I don’t know what you expected. If you want more, wait about 4 years for me to get to Generation 6 when I’ll talk about Dragalge and complain about how they based 2 different Pokemon off of Seahorses. Although I suppose Dragalge is more of a leafy green sea dragon than a regular sea horse.

Legitimately thought this was dead at first.

Legitimately thought this was dead at first.

USING SEADRA IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Look at those stats. Absolutely disgusting.

Eviolite, Substitute, Disable. You’re basically Gengar, but not nearly as fast, and not nearly as great offensively. Eviolite is a huge boon though, and can help you tank hits assuming you invest in some HP.

After that? There’s not much else Seadra can do. Hydro Pump is a nice strong STAB, but with 95 Base Special Attack, you might just be better off using Scald instead and fishing for burns.

GET IT? FISHING! BECAUSE-

Anyway, as for your last move, you’ll want to probably stick Ice Beam onto the set. Ice is always a fantastic coverage type, and the only other real attack worth considering that Seadra has access too is Dragon Pulse. Unfortunately, despite the name, Seadra is not a Dragon type yet, and Dragon is a terrible type for attack coverage. Doubly so since the only thing it hits Super Effectively, itself, is also hit SE by Ice.

Seadra is not an exceptional Pokemon by any means. You should definitely only be using it in situations where terrible Pokemon are allowed to flourish.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
I guess this is as intimidating as a Seahorse can get. I definitely would be more afraid of a Seadra than a Kingdra, I can tell you that much.

DESIGN: 2/5
Lazy. Add spikes and sharp edges to the nicely curved Horsea, and you get a Seadra. Still looks kinda cool, I guess.

BATTLE: 2/5
At least it has a gimmick!

10 DAYS: AND YOU COME BACK/WITH THIS?
I’m sorry! I really am. But I want to be over and done with Generation 1, and I fully intend to do that within the next month. I also want to write that review I mentioned, and I’ll be contributing a piece to another blog soon. When that’s done I’ll make sure to link it from here!

OVERALL: 2.3/5
117
Keep flapping those fins. They won’t do any good on land.

#116 Horsea

Everything about this is cute.

Everything about this is cute.

It’s been awhile since I had to do a Pokemon that was just designed from the very beginning to be cute. Horsea’s got itself a cute little swirly for a tail, and a big peashooter for a mouth. And then there’s those huge eyes. They’re red, to let you know that even if it’s a sea Pokemon, the salt water hurts its eyes too.

I typed that last sentence as a joke, but I got genuinely curious about that, so I did some good old fashioned fact checking. And, yup, it turns out that Horsea’s eyes are no longer red upon evolution. I don’t think it’s because Horsea is supposed to have red, irritated eyes from being a newborn, but I get the feeling that someone out there is going to take it as a serious statement and make a new theory out of it.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Quick! Intercept with an entirely different theory!

Quick! Intercept with an entirely different theory!

So everyone likes to point out that Horsea is very obviously based on a seahorse, right. And then it can shoot ink. But seahorses can’t shoot ink! So, obviously, another sea animal came into play, that being Squids, or Octopi. Why? Because they shoot ink. Horsea is a seahorse that shoots ink. It all makes sense.

However, consider the following.

What if Horsea’s roots are much more sinister? What if that’s not ink it’s spraying out, but poison. Horrible terrible poison. And now look at that picture. Horsea from the front, with those big spikes coming off of its head. Then it’s got a tendency to shoot black liquid. Are you following me yet? Do you know where I’m going with this?

OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. I WANT TO GO HOME.

OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. I WANT TO GO HOME.

That’s right. I propose that Horsea is instead based off of a Dilophosaurus. I mean, if we ignore minor things like how the dinosaur lived on land while Horsea lives in the sea, or how their bodies aren’t really similar at all, then they’re pretty much the same thing.

They’ve both got big flashy heads, and they spew black things from their mouth. If you just drape a cloth over Horsea’s head then you’ve basically got a Dilophosaurus’s frill. Now, I’m not saying that Junichi Masuda or Satoshi Tajiri ripped it off, but I am saying this.

Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The first versions of Pokemon were released in Japan in 1996. Horsea’s index number being 92 is a pretty good indicator that it was added fairly late into the game too, further supporting my theory.

NO NOT NEWMAN

It’s raining Nedry! Just wipe it off!

And that’s how awful theories get started. You bring up any objectionable points that would disprove the theory yourself, and then brush them off as being unimportant. Then, you load up your viewer with evidence. It doesn’t matter if it’s circumstantial or real, just so long as you can keep listing things to make your supporting argument look big, and complicated.

The more you know.

OH GOD MAYBE IT REALLY IS BASED ON A DILOPHOSAURUS

OH GOD MAYBE IT REALLY IS BASED ON A DILOPHOSAURUS

DID YOU KNOW?

This is another one of those minor things, but Horsea actually used to have two fins, instead of just the single backfin that it has now. It’s very obvious in Horsea’s original art.

They’re also at the sides, not the back

The position of them is different too, which makes me wonder if they were gonna be used differently. The single fin on the back nowadays looks more like it’s supposed to serve as a rotor, so Horsea can steer and make quick turns if it needs to. The original design looks more to me like the fins were basically intended to be hand-analogues. If you wanted to shake Horsea’s hand, it would raise a fin and you’d shake it! That’s only an assumption though, so who knows.

However, what makes this a little more interesting than other ancient retcons is that Horsea was actually depicted like this in other works for awhile. Sort of. Even in the game it looks like Horsea has a single fin, but…

Or maybe the manga's just wrong.

Or maybe the manga’s just wrong.

In at least one of the manga, Horsea was depicted with that twin-fin design! This picture is from Magical Pokemon Journey, which had a few major changes from other versions of Pokemon. The most notable one is that all Pokemon can speak the same language as humans.

The second most notable? Horsea’s double fins of course!

USING HORSEA IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Horsea is not great. That 70 in Defense and Special Attack is pretty decent for a Little Cup Pokemon, but it falls short in every other area and is just  all around a sub par Pokemon.

First things first though, don’t even bother with Horsea unless you’re using a Rain team. While Horsea evolutions may be able to make use of the Sniper ability, the best that Horsea itself can do is Swift Swim. With doubled Speed in rain, Horsea can use a STAB boosted Hydro Pump to smash apart a pretty decent number of things that would try to stop it. Ice Beam is always a fantastic option for coverage, and for a third moveslot you’ll probably want Substitute. If you’d prefer to play safe though, Substitute can be swapped out for Rain Dance.

You know, I’m just realizing that it’s been a long time since I’ve written about a Pokemon that has 4 moveslot syndrome. For those unaware, 4 moveslot syndrome is just the fan nickname for a Pokemon that is filled to bursting with good options for attacks, and would be insanely better if it had an extra moveslot availble.

Bringing that up because a lot of things recently have been a strugle to come up with a good fourth move. Horsea is one of them, with Hidden Power pretty much being the only good option. Seriously. The only other move it gets access to that isn’t Water or Ice typed is Flash Cannon, and Steel is a terrible type offensively. Anyway, for Hidden Power you’ll want either Grass, or Ground. Then just add a Life Orb on top for a boost in power.
ARBITRARY SCORESAPPEARANCES: 5/5
Horsea is absolutely adorable. Even its cry is cute.DESIGN: 5/5
Making use of a seahorse’s weird trumpet mouth to shoot ink is a pretty great idea in terms of design. Alternatively, Dilophosauruses man!BATTLE: 2/5
Not great. There’s better Pokemon to consider for your rain team.OVERALL: 4/5
116
We were sailing along on moonlight bay~

#115 Kangaskhan

Touch my kid and find out what happens!

Touch my kid and find out what happens!

Kangaskhan is hardcore. First off, its name is like a tiny barely there difference between its name and Genghis Khan. Do you know who Genghis Khan is? I barely do because I don’t care much for history, but I can tell you this much.

He was hardcore.

SURPRISE HUGS!

SURPRISE HUGS!

Kangaskhan, on the other hand, is basically a maternal Pokemon. It carries a tiny baby around in its pouch at all times, and loves it dearly. It’ll also beat to death anything that it thinks is trying to endanger the baby. Some people have tried to make the connection between Genghis Khan’s ruthlessness and Kangaskhan’s determination to punish anything that would harm its baby, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch.

Plus, I mean, come on. Kangaskhan’s just a maternal Pokemon. There’s really not much to them besides that. I suppose the baby one in the pouch is kinda cute, if you can get past the fact that freshly hatched Kangaskhan will already have a baby.

I've never seen this episode of the anime, but I can only assume that kid is terrified.

I’ve never seen this episode of the anime, but I can only assume that kid is terrified.

I was talking about mothers with a friend of mine earlier today. I was like, “Man, my mom is annoying. She’s super gullible, and I think it’s cause she’s old. She’s a crazy old lady.”

And while that may be true, I think we would all do well to appreciate our mothers a little bit. Unless your mother was just some kind of horrible monster. Those kinds do exist, and I feel for anyone who had to grow up like that. My mother was thankfully not that kind of person, and she may be an overly gullible, well, idiot in this day and age, but she means well.

Just copy paste the Kangaskhan and add a baby into some pouches!

Just copy paste the Kangaskhan and add a baby into some pouches!

I don’t have any kids, and, really, at the moment, I’m not interested in having any. If I ever were to have kids though, one of my greatest fears is basically becoming my mother. I don’t want to have to experience slowly losing my mind and sanity. I don’t want to be the one who will believe anything I’m told and fall for all kinds of crazy scams whenever they’re presented earnestly.

But, at the same time, I like to think that any kids I may have had would be willing to help their dear mother out. Because, despite my failings in my assumed advanced age, I like to think I’d be like a Kangaskhan while they were growing up. I will already get into fights over comparatively small issues. I think that would only be exacerbated if I had a child to nurture and protect.

WHO DID THIS TO YOU? I'LL KILL 'EM.

WHO DID THIS TO YOU? I’LL KILL ‘EM.

Go show your mother some appreciation sometime readers. They may annoy us sometimes with all of their requests, but I’m sure they went through a whole lot to raise our sorry butts.

Again, unless your mom is awful. Then please, stay away. Like, if your mother is like Mega Kangaskhan, who is probably one of the worst things to ever be introduced to any meta ever, then please keep your distance.

DID YOU KNOW?

I was originally going to write about this when I did Cubone, but, I’m going to be honest here, I totally forgot. I thought the shirt thing was cool, and forgot I’d promised to do something about a certain well accepted theory. SO, I’m going to do that here, and now.

Also because there’s really not much else to talk about Kangaskhan with.

Yup. THIS theory.

Yup. THIS theory.

So, if you’re unfamiliar, the theory basically goes like this. If a Kangaskhan dies during, or shortly after birth, then its child doesn’t receive the normal nurturing required to become a Kangaskhan. Instead, it lovingly dons its mother’s empty skull, picks up a stray bone, and becomes the Cubone we all know and love.

Now, this theory is extremely prevalent. Because, I mean, first off, it does kinda make sense. A Pokemon that depends on nurturing that much would likely cry every night if it grew up without a mother. But that’s not the only bit of supporting evidence. In addition to just making sense, it’s further supported by the Generation 1 glitch Pokemon, ‘M.

‘M is another glitch Pokemon, just like Missingno. Like, really similar. They both share the same Pokedex number and sprite. The only real difference is in their name, where Missingno. is, of course, Missingno., while ‘M is ‘M.

Anyway, when you level up ‘M, it evolves into a Kangaskhan. And that’s the evidence. By jumping to conclusions through a number of hoops, people decided that ‘M is a Pokemon that was intended to be added to the game, but removed before it was completed. ‘M evolving into Kangaskhan, to these people, means that ‘M was data for what was intended to be a Kangaskhan pre-evolution.

First things first. That doesn’t make sense. See, I don’t know if it’s just dumb wording, or what, but the theory basically says that something was meant to evolve into Kangaskhan. Okay, sure. Then it says that that something, is Cubone, but the data was dummied out before release.

No. The data couldn’t have been dummied out, because we have Cubone. Cubone exists. If Cubone was intended to evolve into Kangaskhan, then it would do so. This would prove that a Kangaskhan pe-evo was meant to exist, and not prove anything about its relation to Cubone or Marowak.

Have a VERY impressive image of Missingno. by Paul Robertson. Click for source.

Have a VERY impressive image of Missingno. by Paul Robertson. Click for source.

Anyway. Here we go. Here’s why it happens. Please, remember this. I’m tired of seeing this theory.

When you perform the first few steps of the Missingno glitch you load a Pokemon battle in a town, Viridian City. Wild encounters aren’t normally allowed to happen in towns, and this exception is cleared away after you move to another area. This loaded battle, however, stays in the game’s memory when you fly to a different location, and by hanging on the very edge of Cinnabar Island you’re still technically not moving into a new area, so the game counts it as a wild encounter in a town.

The game doesn’t know how to deal with this, so through a horrible amalgamation of data corruption, it produces an error handler. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, an error handler is basically just something that stops your game from completely exploding when a serious error occurs. Missingno. is the error handler. Then, based off of your name, or just a little bit of Luck, you could get Missingno., or ‘M.

Then this all comes back to Index Numbers. In Generation 1, a Pokemon’s internal identifier is in its Index Number. ‘M, however, is glitched, and basically has a broken identifier. So when ‘M in particular levels up, it realizes there’s an error, and seeks to correct it. It does so by evolving into a Pokemon at the start of the list. This is why, nine times out of ten, Missingno. or ‘M will evolve into a Rhydon or Kangaskhan. Because those are Index Numbers 1 and 2.

That’s it. It’s easily explained, and it’s all unintentional glitches and error handlers.

For a bit more info on the process, check out this fantastic video by JWittz about Missingno.

And please, you, reading this. Please do what you can to stop the spread of this awful theory. I’m so tired of not only seeing it whenever I need to just look up Cubone or Kangaskhan, but I’m double tired of seeing it expressed as common facts, when it is so very clearly not. Please.

USING KANGASKHAN IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Again, friendly reminder, this is about regular Kangaskhan. Not Mega. Mega Kangaskhan is a destroyer of worlds only threatened by Mega Rayquaza. Regular Kangaskhan… well, it’s not great.

Give Kangaskhan an Assault Vest. Why? Because literally none of Kangaskhan’s non-attacking moves are worth a single thing. At least the Assault Vest gets you nice and bulky, while not having the drawbacks of a Choice item or Life Orb. Return is your best STAB option, and that leaves you with 3 slots. Scrappy is absolutely the best ability you should go for, and I personally love a STAB Fake Out to use alongside it. If you don’t like Fake Out, then just replace it with Power Up Punch.

After that, Drain Punch and Sucker Punch. There’s really little that a non-Mega Kangaskhan can do, and I’ve pretty much said it all. Add EV’s into Attack, and just let Kangaskhan do its best out there. Thankfully it’s got a pretty decent amount of bulk with 105/80/80, and that gets a nice boost from the Assault Vest. It’s still very lackluster on the Attack side though, so use it carefully.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Kangaskhan looks weird. But, at the same time, it looks like it’ll ruin someone’ s day.

DESIGN: 5/5
I really love the idea of a fiercely maternal Pokemon. Sure, someone might say that Chansey did it first, but, if we’re going by Index Number, Kangaskhan did it first. And really, a baby is way better than an egg.

BATTLE: 2/5
Another one of those nicely rounded out Pokemon in terms of stats. It excels in nothing, unfortunately.

UM: EXCUSE/ME
No! No! No! No! No! No! Cubone and Marowak are not related to Kangaskhan! The final nail in this dumb coffin is Mega Kangaskhan, because the baby grows a bit older and looks NOTHING like a Cubone. No! No! No! No!

Chant it like D-Bry would!

Chant it like D-Bry would!

OVERALL: 3.3/5

The baby has to watch as Kangaskhan commits homicide