Feature

10 Pokémon Based On Real Life That Should Totally Exist

by AJ Moser on Jul 20, 2016 at 03:50 PM

Pokémon is back on a lot of gamers’ radars with the recent launch of Pokémon Go and the impending release of the next proper games, Sun and Moon for the 3DS. One of the most exciting parts of the buildup to a new Pokémon generation is the slow reveal of all the new characters players will be able to encounter on their journey. Sometimes Pokémon designs are unpredictable and wildly creative, and other times they are closely based on real-world influences. Here is a list of some of those real-world subjects we think would make the perfect Pokémon.

This feature was originally published on July 14, 2016.


Dolphin

One of the most widely recognized and common marine animals, dolphins are a perfect candidate to appear in the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon. The Alola region is based on the Hawaiian Islands, set in a lush tropical paradise. Players will end up traversing an open sea to reach the multiple islands depicted on the area’s official map. While exploring the ocean, wouldn’t it make sense that trainers need a strong, speedy companion?

A dolphin Pokémon would obviously use lots of water-based attacks, but there are also other possibilities for its attacks and abilities. Dolphins are said to be some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, so maybe this potential Pokémon could make some use of the psychic type. They are also extraordinarily playful and mischievous, traits that a lot of recently introduced fairy-type Pokémon seem to have as well.


Jaguar
Jaguars may be closely related to leopards and tigers, both of which have been the inspiration for a few Pokémon, but they’re distinct in a number of regards. They are larger than leopards and typically make their homes in dense rainforests. As an apex predator, the jaguar finds itself at the top of the food chain and is known to stalk areas near open water to ambush prey. Nearly every generation of Pokémon game has some creature based on a predator, like a lion or a tiger, so maybe this time it’s the jaguar’s turn.

One interesting aspect about the jaguar is the creature’s prominence in Aztec culture. While the Aztec empire was primarily located in Central America, not the Pacific islands, Pokémon games have never been the most exact about the accuracy of their cultural influences. Jaguars were used as symbols of power and strength in the education of young warriors. As a military symbol, jaguars were anthropomorphized to appear in depictions of battle and religious ceremonies. A jaguar warrior could make for an interesting and formidable Pokémon to add to your team.


Flamingo

Birds tend to be a big inspiration for Pokémon designs, but the flamingo is one distinct animal that remains untouched. The way these birds stand around on one leg could play into a unique design for a Pokémon. They spend a great deal of time near water, which may influence the type of or availability of moves it could use. Alternatively, the name flamingo comes from Portuguese, meaning “flame colored,” so we could see some fire-type ideas based on this bird.

While bird Pokémon found early in the game are usually not the strongest options to add to your team, the flamingo could come with a number of unique gameplay mechanics. Most notably, the animal is commonly recognized as a plastic lawn decoration, and the flamingo Pokémon could be memorable if this association is implemented into the game either in or out of battle. An ability that allows for transformation into a plastic decoy could prove frustrating and helpful in competitive situations. Another distinguishing characteristic of the flamingo is how they are known to group up in large colonies, which could take advantage of Pokémon’s new horde battle mechanic.


Naked Mole Rat

While they may be a little tough to look at, naked mole rats are actually remarkable animals. They lack pain sensitivity in their skin, can control their own body temperatures, are highly resistant to cancer, and live incredibly long lives for members of the rat family. All of these attributes, combined with their inclination for underground habitats, would make for an interesting Pokémon.

A cave-dwelling mole rat that is incredibly hard to defeat could annoy explorers at first but might make a good addition to your team, if given the chance. The naked mole rat is also closely related to the star-nosed mole, another unique creature. The star-shaped appendages that grow from the mole’s face act as sensors in the darkness and help the animal find food and avoid danger underground. Both of these dark-dwelling moles could make for some new Pokémon with creative abilities.


Narwhal

We’re going underwater again for this next suggestion, the narwhal, which already looks like it should be a Pokémon and not an actual animal on our planet. They are well-known for the massive horn that protrudes from their heads and are commonly referred to as “the unicorn of the sea.” These small whales live in cold water, and would make for an excellent ice-type Pokémon.

Narwhals are naturally social creatures, making small pods to travel and hunt with. An evolutionary chain based on this animal would be pretty interesting, as a newborn calf weighs up to two hundred pounds. Watching the creature’s tusk grow before your eyes as it evolves would be a rewarding experience before obtaining a full-grown Pokémon with serious strength.

For more bugs, birds, and some of our crazier ideas, head to page two.


Capybara

The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, weighing up to 150 pounds, and would be a perfect fit in the world of Pokémon. These cute and lovable creatures primarily make their homes in South American jungles and swamps. Each generation of new Pokémon has at least one standout creature based on a friendly mammal, like Bidoof, Lillipup, and Skidoo. Most NPCs early in the game will have one of these creatures, and they are found easily throughout the region.

A little known fact about the capybara is that they are a semiaquatic animal, meaning they spend a lot of time swimming in lakes and rivers. They have webbed feet and possess the ability to fully submerge themselves underwater for up to five minutes, diving to eat plants or escape from predators. If players are able to surf on the back of a Tauros, why should these giant guinea pigs have to miss out on the fun?


Stinkbug

There is no shortage of bugs in the Pokémon world. Ever since the first games, bug catchers have hunted every major forest and route for the best creepy crawlers they could fit their nets around. But one particular species of insect has been missing from the Pokédex for far too long. The stink bug already possesses some notably strange and rather smelly powers that would translate perfectly to a Pokémon battle.

When they feel threatened, stink bugs use a gland on their lower abdomen to release an odor that warns away predators. Just coming too close to a stinkbug may trigger the release of the stench, and it’s remarkably hard to get rid of. The stinkbug would obviously utilize some potent poison attacks, and could have a new ability that uses its smell to ward off enemies both in and outside of battle.


Stork

Going back to birds, another distinctive species that could make for an interesting Pokémon is the stork. They may not be the most visually unique species, as their long beaks are one of the only things that set them apart from similar animals. What makes the stork a special candidate for upcoming Pokémon games is the unique legend that is attributed to the bird. As you likely already know, storks are commonly associated with the task of delivering babies to expecting parents.

Now, we’re not suggesting that a stork Pokémon should have attacks that involve launching infants at an opponent, but the method of delivery makes for some fun ideas. Much like Delibird, this Pokémon could make use of throwing objects at enemies and allies alike. Storks could also be associated with the already existing breeding mechanics, somehow making it easier to obtain or identify eggs while trying to hatch the perfect Pokémon.


A Truck

Pokémon is becoming keener and keener to make designs based off inanimate objects as artists slowly drain every real life animal and mythological beast for inspiration. We’ve seen ice cream, trash, and even a key ring used as in-game characters, but one object that has a history with the series has been ignored in this consideration. The reveal trailer for Sun and Moon hinted that vehicles may play a larger role in this new installment, but maybe in a different capacity than we initially speculated.

One of the biggest rumors in the original games was that if players were able to move a truck near the docks of the S.S. Anne, they would be able to obtain a Mew. There was a long process involved in getting there, but the final step was moving a truck. This has since been debunked, mocked, and parodied for years on end.  The truck at Vermillion Port was a product of leftover programming, and served no purpose at the time. But perhaps it was a harbinger of what was to come, and Sun and Moon will introduce the sentient car Pokémon that can run over enemies and throw tires as an attack? The series is no stranger to Easter eggs and hidden secrets, and this would be one of the longest cons to date.


Spoons

This may seem like a bit of a stretch at first, but think carefully. Spoons have actually been present in the Pokémon games since the first generation. The teleporting Abra was tough enough to catch in Red and Blue, but players who were able to do so and evolve it into Kadabra found that their new Pokémon was holding a unique weapon in its hand, one single spoon. Psychic attacks used by Kadabra were often depicted coming out of the spoon, a nod to the spoon-bending powers of acclaimed magicians. The act typically depicts the spoon as a tool of telekinesis, so much so that this Pokémon drew public outrage from a notable illusionist. Kadabra’s spoon is obviously tied to it magic abilities, but what if something more nefarious was at play?

The conspiracy deepens considering Alakazam, the next evolution of this family, who holds two spoons. Alakazam was one of the most powerful of the original 151 Pokémon, and used even stronger psychic attacks than Kadabra. It is obvious that the increase in strength is tied to evolution, but also the increase in the Pokémon’s possession of silverware. The final evidence for this new Pokémon comes with Alakazam’s mega evolution, an aged wizard who controls five floating spoons. Mega evolution is a mysterious power that was introduced in X and Y, but could Sun and Moon provide further answers? Is there also a fork Pokémon, and could the powers of these two combine to form some kind of spork Pokémon? We hope this mystery is solved in Sun and Moon.

What do you think of our choices? Would you add any of this creatures to your team? What objects and animals do you think should make it to the world of Pokémon? Sound off below!