In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Duraludon has a very interesting design, and is only the second Steel/Dragon-type Pokémon, at least until Hisuian Sliggoo and Goodra were introduced in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While its type combination is uncommon, it is quite convenient. It is only weak to two types, Fighting and Ground, and resistant to a whopping nine. While bipedal, Duraludon will brace itself on the ground with its arms and legs when launching powerful attacks.
The Pokémon’s origin is Duralumin, an early aluminum-based alloy. It is one of many metals that have been creating using aluminium as the main component. By mixing in other metals or components, the resulting metal can have greater strength without being any heavier.
Duralumin also has copper, manganese, and magnesium as base components. The presence of copper makes the composite material vulnerable to corrosion. Duraludon’s Pokédex entry in Pokémon Sword may reference this fact: “Its body resembles polished metal, and it’s both lightweight and strong. The only drawback is that it rusts easily.”
Duralumin was invented in the early twentieth century by German metallurgist Alfred Wilm. It was used by the Germans to develop strong aircraft, and it continues to be used primarily for that. Great Britain began to use it to build their own aircraft following the first World War.
It has two asymmetrical hands, with a design that resembles and alludes to drill bits. Duralumin has a Brinell Hardness score of between 90 and 104. For context, Aluminium and Copper are roughly the same. This means it may not be very easy for it to grind down rocks. While possible, it may not have the strength of something like a diamond.
Additionally, the mention of corrosion in its description is interesting. What does it mean for a Pokémon to rust? In the games, Steel-type Pokémon resist Poison-type moves, except for Salazzle’s Corrosion ability. It could be interesting as a future game mechanic.
As Gigantamax Duraludon, its physical features are amplified as it grows and it looks much more like a skyscraper than its original form. Some say that it is inspired by the real-world building ‘The Shard’ in the UK. It is the only Pokémon that can use the move G-Max Depletion. The Pokémon Shield Pokédex entry for its Gigantamax form reads, “The hardness of its cells is exceptional, even among Steel types. It also has a body structure that’s resistant to earthquakes.” This references modern skyscraper regulations in areas that are prone to seismic activity, but is rather funny considering that it is still weak to Ground-type attacks, even in this form.
Duraludon has an interesting design, based on a metallic alloy instead of a pure element. Alloys are a relatively new invention, although the implications of it being a naturally occurring metal may have inspired a different type of history. Was Duraludon used for war, using attacks onboard aircraft or ships? Let me know what you think in the comments below or weigh in on Discord!