Friday, June 25, 2010

19. Rattata

True story: I used to get in heated debates with kids in elementary school over the pronunciation of Rattata’s name. They were utterly convinced it was “ruh-TAT-ta” for some reason. Not only does that completely miss the pun on “rat,” it also misses the resemblance to the onomatopoeia “ratta-tat,” as in “ratta-tat-tat,” as in the noise made by a gun, or something that strikes quickly and repeatedly, like a pesky, cannon-fodder rodent species in a popular videogame.


I kinda like Rattata though, and the way it symbolises underachievers everywhere. Think about it—if pokemon were real, who would you rather be friends with: the kid looking to max out the EVs on his inherited Charizard pumped with TMs and “supplemental” vitamins so he can challenge the Elite Four and become world famous, or the kid next door with the pet Rattata he caught in his backyard? I mean jeez, some people just want to wear short pants and enjoy their lives leisurely.

Anyway, given that you’ll be seeing a lot of Rattata in the games it appears, always at times you’d rather not (doesn’t give much experience boon, barely worth capturing), there’s a bit of pressure to give it a not-too-hateable sprite! And they don’t do too badly I’d say; almost all the sprites showing Rattata on all fours also show its paws spread wide, ready for action—even the early ones (except Yellow’s, but that one looks like a small dog so it’s got several problems). Atta boy Rattata! That really does help them look more dynamic—especially since, when you think about it, when do you see an actual rodent standing like that?

I also like the Ruby and Sapphire sprite for its blood-red alien eyes. Aww who’s a creepy evil Rattata, YOU are, yes you are, who got mutated by toxic waste, YOU did, aww

The Winner:
FireRed and LeafGreen

Remember when they used to sell those little pokemon figurines in the clear plastic pokeballs? And you got all excited about collecting all of them but your parents wouldn’t let you so you only wound up with ten or so?

Well, that was me when I was a wee lad, and Rattata was one of the ones I had:

And when I look at the above sprite it’s like a blast to the past, because it looks exactly like that figurine. The mouth, the eyes, the tail… they might as well have used it as a reference. Man, if they just took all those figurines and put them in sprite form for the games I’d be happy.

So that’s my shamelessly non-objective reasoning for liking that sprite best. Though I also really like the Red and Blue one, because its tail is so skewed it looks like Rattata is flying sideways. Which, funny enough, is exactly what it does when it enters the screen in-game. Whoooosh


  1. I love how the FR/LG sprite isn't a retouched R/S sprite at all because they just couldn't save that awful pose, haha.

  2. I'm really surprised you didn't comment on the D/P sprite! I mean look at that tail! hee hee. It's like someone's picking it up by the tail and it's just squirming, like 'let me down!'
    It just amused me so much I had to say something.

  3. I always thought it was funny how those kids loved shorts.
    Also, I used to say ruh-TAT-ta, mstly because I didn't know better,and that was just how I looked at it, though it was also because I thought it was spelled Ratatta instead of Rattata.

  4. awwwwww the rse one is so adorable!!!! even with the yes being like "imma eat you and stuffs." lol.

  5. Pokemon - Emerald - Hack (all pokemons) GBA ROM+SAVE+CHEAT