All 720 Pokémon, Graded. Part 10 — Nos. 91 to 100 (Cloyster to Voltorb)

Welcome back to All Pokémon Graded, the feature where everything’s made up and the grades don’t matter. In today’s installment, we visit some old haunts.
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250px-091cloyster1091. Cloyster
Type: Water / Ice
Best Name: English
The English translation team’s wordplay game was totally on point when they named this one. Cloyster is menacing enough by appearance alone, but for me, a big part of a Pokémon’s intimidation factor is determined by: if it did something to a part of my body, would I still have that body part? And if I’m imagining that shell closing up on my hand, I’m then picturing not having that hand anymore. I have to hand it to Cloyster: it really knows how to flex its mussels. A-
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250px-092gastly092. Gastly
Type: Ghost / Poison
Best Name: Nebulak (German)
I can’t confirm this, but I feel like a lot of people my age spelled “ghastly” without the H in Red/Blue‘s heyday, and I wonder if Pokémon played at least a subconscious role in it. I could very well be wholly fabricating this memory, but I feel like it was a thing. It never occurred to me until I saw them one immediately after the other in the National Dex just now, but the round part of Gastly looks an awful lot like the inner core of Cloyster. Is that all we can expect from this short life? To hide in a shell and prevent people from knowing the truth we keep inside, until we die and float around the ether, stinking up the joint? Bleak. B
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250px-093haunter093. Haunter
Type: Ghost / Poison
Best Name: Spectrum (French)
Not really sold on the name. All ghosts are haunters! (Well, except the ones that aren’t, I guess.) Glad to see it take on a slightly more corporeal shape, though. And disembodied extremities are always a favorite design choice of mine. I like Haunter in the games because once Gastly becomes Haunter, it can learn the powerful Dream Eater attack. I wonder what dreams taste like. My guess? Cotton candy. Once again, the Japanese predilection for using simple English words as Pokémon names rears its head in hilarious fashion: Haunter’s Japanese name is simply “Ghost”. B
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250px-094gengar094. Gengar
Type: Ghost / Poison
Best Name: Ectoplasma (French)
Look, I know Gengar is supposed to be some kind of shadow-stealing ghost, and quite imposing at almost five feet with a bulky frame, but heaven help me if I don’t want to hug it until its eyes pop out. It calls to mind the kind of life-size companion doll you get for lonely children, like the My Buddy I had when I was three years old. Now, Mega Gengar? Not huggable at all. But assuming my arms wouldn’t pass right through regular Gengar, I’d love to put the big purple lug on a one-way train to Hugsville. Ghosts need love too! A-
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250px-095onix095. Onix
Type: Rock / Ground
Best Name: Rongseuton (Korean)
Is that an Onix in your Pokéball, or are you just happy to see me? Minor points off because I associate onyx the stone with black, which is not represented anywhere on its body (line work and shading excepted), even in shiny form, where a sleek black coat would do wonders for its BA factor. Lord knows it needs the boost. Historically, Onix has gotten kind of hosed in terms of being allowed to build a reputation. Even though it’s a hulking granite serpent, its trading cards aren’t very good and it can be taken down very easily by some basic elemental types.

If you need a prime example of this hosing, look no further than the anime, wherein Ash’s Pikachu defeated Brock’s Onix by setting off the sprinkler system, then using a Thunderbolt to zap its brains out. Rather than making it seem as though Onix was outwitted, however, it instead makes the show look dumb, because that is STRAIGHT BALONEY. Ground types are completely immune to electric attacks. In a fair and just world, the lightning would have bounced off Onix like a pebble, and it would have patronized Pikachu á la Mr. Hollywood before sprawling out on top of it to end the match. And thus would have been born the phrase “you don’t bring a Pikachu to an Onix fight”. Still, despite the hard-knock life, Onix’s performance issues are tough to overlook entirely, even though it is a massive boulder-snake, which is about as cool as raw high-concept ideas come. B+
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250px-096drowzee096. Drowzee
Type: Psychic
Best Name: Traumato (German)
Looks like a tapir that just crawled out of a fondue pot, or a mud bath. I wonder how relaxing a mud bath is. Similar spa-like activities I have never experienced that I would also like to participate in: hot stone massage, acupuncture, sensory deprivation. Recalling a tapir character in a similar capacity from the Famicom game Cocoron, I wondered if tapirs had a consistent connection to dreams, and it turns out they do. Creatures like Drowzee are called baku. According to legend (and Wikipedia), “they were created from the spare pieces that were left over when the gods had finished creating all other animals.” Yeesh. If I was a tapir/baku/Drowzee and I knew that factoid, my self-esteem would be in the toilet. So next time you think about throwing shade at Drowzee for taking so many resort vacations, maybe step back and think about that first. Ignore the haters, Drowzee, treat yo’self. B
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250px-097hypno097. Hypno
Type: Psychic
Best Name: English
Hypno has a big nose and a giant untamed tuft of body hair, and he’s never seen without his pocket watch. That’s right: Hypno is your grandfather who secretly spent your entire Chuck E. Cheese birthday party wishing he was at home tinkering with his train set. B- 
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250px-098krabby098. Krabby
Type: Water
Best Name: English
I’ll grant that there was a window of about one year in North America where Pokémon existed and SpongeBob Squarepants did not. But after that, if you didn’t name every single Krabby you ever caught Mr. Krabs, regardless of gender, then I think your odds of passing my background check are slim at best. C
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250px-099kingler099. Kingler
Type: Water
Best Name: Krabboss (French)
Another piece of common ground I hope you and I share, dear reader, is a love of seafood. I don’t know about you, but for yours truly, there are few culinary experiences more beautiful than cracking a leg or claw of king crab (with my bare hands—no metal implements for this fatty) and mining a rich vein of crab meat. I mean, look at that Kingler claw. Doesn’t that look incredible? I could never get a fix from surimi after that. Do I realize I’m salivating over a cartoon crab? Yes. Am I aware I just spent an entire paragraph grading a Pokémon on how I imagine it tastes and not any of its actual qualities? Yes. Am I going to shut up and move on anyway? It’s yes with the hat trick! B+
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250px-100voltorb100. Voltorb
Type: Electric
Best Name: Jjiririgong (Korean)
A Pokémon based on a Pokéball is the kind of ridiculous meta nonsense you would think the developers would roll out only when they really started to get desperate for ideas, like, say, the fourth generation. Nope. Right out there in Gen I. And you thought I had trouble wrapping my brain around Magnemite biology. My best current theory (NOTE: “best” does not necessarily imply high quality) posits that a Geodude was humping a Pokéball when a lightning storm cast an errant spark that gave life to their forbidden love. But then there I go, writing the very blurbs I cast aspersions on in the Magnemite piece. Doubt that tale will make it into the Pokédex. D
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Next time: Electrode to Weezing

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2 Responses to All 720 Pokémon, Graded. Part 10 — Nos. 91 to 100 (Cloyster to Voltorb)

  1. Pingback: All 720 Pokémon, Graded. Part 11 — Nos. 100 to 110 (Electrode to Weezing) | CHEESE & PIXELS

  2. Pingback: All Pokémon Graded: Nos. 111-120 (Rhyhorn to Staryu) | CHEESE & PIXELS

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