Monday, June 28, 2010

22. Fearow

oh man oh man so cool

I don’t mean to keep harping on this comparison, but did you know Fearow’s base stat total is only 27 points lower than Pidgeot’s? And you can have a Fearow at level 20, whereas you have to wait until level 36 for Pidgeotto to evolve? Just sayin’.

Did you also know Fearow’s name in Japanese, オニドリル (Onidrill) (which by the way sounds awesome even without the meaning I’m about to supply), means “demon drill”? Or that its original Pokedex entry claims that on its “huge and magnificent wings, it can keep aloft without ever having to land for rest”? That’s the Pokedex calling it magnificent, not me. Fearow: the factually magnificent pokemon. Not to mention the being able to fly forever thing, that makes ospreys and aircraft sound kinda weak.

Well, if you didn’t know all those things, you now have no excuse not to recognise Fearow as the best bird pokemon ever. I very rarely bother training to Pidgeot when I know I can just get a Fearow. Especially once it learns Drill Peck; that move does crazy damage when you factor in type bonuses and everything. Which makes sense, since from what I gather it involves Fearow turning its beak into a drill and stabbing things.

So how does one even begin to critique a Fearow sprite when they’re all so perfect, you might wonder. When I love every bit of them, down to the white, downy tufts on their backs? It’s like a parent having to choose between children. Except different, because parents always have favoured children.

Well for one thing, it is possible to make its neck too long and slender; do so and Fearow ends up looking a bit fragile (which it is, but never mind that). Gold, Silver, and the DS sprites are guilty of this. The rubber chicken coxcomb look is best avoided on the headcrest. It should look more like… just, cool spiky feathers I guess. And the beak is most impressive when closed, when you can easily imagine it as a big drill and not just an unwieldy eating appendage. Red and Green’s sprite does this best; that shnoz looks about five feet long. Unfortunately R/G’s wings, though in an awesome position, are just a bit too ruffled and unnatural to classify as “majestic.”

The Winner:
FireRed and LeafGreen

The happy medium, FR/LG’s wings aren’t quite as majestic as on the last two, mostly due to space constraints. But they’re sufficiently majestic to look impressive, especially since they take up about as much space on the sprite frame as allowed on the Gameboy Advance.

It’s not too thin, not too short, not too rubbery, not facing the wrong way, and it’s got this great downward direction to it—a brooding, vulturine quality that fits both its “death from above” character and positioning on a Gameboy screen.


  1. Fearow actually looks awesome on the DS. I never really liked his design until I saw that.

  2. I always thought Fearow had a ridiculous chicken-like head with gigantic wings.

    1. Fearow has a chicken-like head because its based on a Cockatrice, which is a monster with the head of a chicken.

    2. Man, you totally just one-upped me on the Fearow knowledge. I didn't think of Cockatrices.

  3. My favorite is actually the R/G... I really love the ruffley-ness on the wings, and the downstroke position. The beak also looks amazing, and sharp...

  4. I really love the R/G too, because of the feathers on it's wings. It makes it loook like it's seen battles, whereas the perfectly manicured wings on the DS sprites make it look like Articuno.

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