Hey guys! You’d be surprised how busy I am over the summer, it always seems like something’s going on! Thankfully, I got some time today to write this up, and I think you all will enjoy it.
There was a huge surge of information with E3 and the whole Nintendo direct thing; which makes it a shame I didn’t get to this faster. But hey, better late than never! Plus, there’s some really interesting origins involved with these guys, so let’s not keep you waiting.
Since this is a bit of a bulk post, I’ll only focus on the basis for now, just to get it out there what these fellas are.
Now these guys pack a wallop, and I sure mean that one.
A lot of people might’ve jumped right on it and said Clauncher is a lobster, but they’re wrong. This fella is a pistol shrimp, and there’s no doubt about it.
Let’s take a look at Clauncher’s description on the website: “Clauncher is easily recognizable by the oversized claw on one of its arms. This useful claw can seize prey and shoot water at others as a projectile!”
Okay, now let’s go step by step through it. The Pistol Shrimp has an over sized claw, which is more than double the size of its other claw. This oversized claw can be used to produce a cavitation bubble, that is, a bubble that immediately implodes on itself. This bubble reaches speeds beyond 60 mph, and produces a sound of 218 decibels, which is as loud as a sperm whale. But wait– it gets even better, this bubble, for a very brief instant, nearly reaches the temperature of the sun. That’s right, these bubbles reach 5,000 degrees kelvin– only 800 kelvin less than the sun. This is so intense that it generates a blast of light, sadly unable to be seen by the naked eye. Thankfully, for our sake, this bubble lasts so briefly that the temperature has no effect on its surroundings. However, this bubble is so intense that the pistol shrimp immediately kills any fish in its vicinity via the shockwave caused by the bubble.
That’s right, this thing kills by shooting imploding bubbles. Sound like any Pokémon in particular? I’m looking at you, Clauncher.
This guy isn’t as well known as his cousin– the Leafy Sea Dragon, but he’s just as important. This is a Weedy Sea Dragon, and yikes, are they beautiful!
It’s pretty apparent just looking at it that Skrelp was based on the Weedy Sea Dragon, especially when you see the shape of the skin protrusions. Pretty much identically oval shaped, with a small stalk connecting it to the body. It even has a hunch-back and two main fins, much like Skrelp.
Clearly there was some artistic direction with the colors, but overall I think it’s pretty obvious that this is the basis.
You’ve already seen some crazy stuff– but we’ve hardly even gotten started! Now here’s the fastest animal on the entire planet, the Peregrine Falcon.
This bird can hit 242 miles an hour in a steep dive to strike its prey– simply using the force of gravity and the shape of its body. That’s wild– and this is way faster than the takeoff speed of most aircraft.
So which Pokémon matches this fella? That would be Talonflame, and there’s a few things in particular that really show the relation off. First, see the pattern on the underside of Talonflame? That matches up to the very distinctive pattern of the Peregrine Falcon, as you can see in the picture above. Next, you can also see the distinctive beak on Talonflame, which is also a unique feature of the Peregrine falcon.
I’d say that completely settles it, but I think Talonflame has plenty of inspiration from the Phoenix as well, seeing as it’s a flame-covered bird.
So.. Litleo clearly, for a start, is a Lion. You’ve noticed that, I’m sure, but there’s more to it than that.
See its tail? Looks like it might be a flame, right? Well.. There’s another way you could look at it.
Hopefully, this doesn’t give you nightmares, but this is a Manticore. It’s a lion with the wings of a dragon and the tail of a scorpion.. See where this is going? Normally they’ve been associated with fire as well, many being fire-breathing monsters. So honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that “flame” tail is actually a scorpion tail forming. Litleo sure will be interesting, either way.
Noivern is a strange fella, being a flying/dragon type, yet very much resembling a bat. It’s actually pretty complex though, having two different creatures for its basis.
For a start, I’d say it’s based on the Large Eared Bat, which is renowned for its two large dish-like ears. Might seem a little trivial, but I think that’s the best way to describe Noivern either way. But how come it’s a dragon type, you ask?
Let’s take a look at its name, shall we? Noivern; notice how it ends? Vern? You know what else ends in Vern? Wyvern.
The wyvern is very popular when they design Pokémon, and I could name countless species that are based on it. In fact, looking back at my other articles, you’ll find the Wyvern quite commonly.
Now, as for Scatterbug and Spewpa, I’ve had a hard time deciding. But honestly, the best I could relate to was the focus on what appears to be silk. Silkworms are called this for a reason– and their silk is most notably used to form their cocoons. With Spewpa in mind, I think this is the best bet. But honestly, caterpillar and pupa Pokémon tend to be very nondescript.
So.. This is kinda awkward. For once I have no idea– but I have a good reason why.
See the forward wing extensions on top of the wings? Not a single species of moth or butterfly has those. I’m not even kidding, you only see similar in swallowtails, but those are rear wing extensions.
Also, there’s no real species of pink butterfly– especially one with the sort of pattern Vivillon has. So.. Yeah, that’s as much as I can tell you for that one.
By now, you’re probably starting to think I’m bad at my job. Two in a row?
Well, let me put it in my terms: Flabebe is an original design, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a real inspiration for it. Maybe you guys are smarter than me about fairies, since I don’t know much, but the most I’ve figured is an old series of illustrations involving “flower fairies.”
Also sprites, which are apparently described as “flower-like” in many old texts. But other than that, I really can’t give you much. Flabebe is a very unique and original design, and it may be one of the few Pokémon that are completely made from scratch.
Edit: Here’s some thoughts from you guys on what Flabebe is! I’ll add the comments to the post, so keep ’em coming if you have any ideas.
So that’s that! Which is your favorite? I personally love Clauncher by far– he’s awesome.
Also! I’ll be answering questions alongside the other staff in the Ask PJ post, so feel free to send some my way.