Friday, June 4, 2010

14. Kakuna

Is it me, or are some of these bug pokemon getting smaller with every generation? I smell a conspiracy to undermine what few impressive qualities they have left these days. At least the most recent Kakuna is well-drawn; it’s got that face like it just hates your guts. It’s probably wondering where all its pixels went.

But, one might reason, it’s not like the original sprites do much better, since they look like creepy, soulless aliens, like they belong in a Metroid game rather than Pokémon. To that I say: have you ever seen what a real bee pupa looks like?

They look exactly like creepy soulless aliens. Complete with spawning chambers and everything.

And if the above image should have you slowly licking your lips in enticement, you’ll be pleased to know you can buy a whole jar of these little guys at a Chinese market near you!

According to the label they’re a great source of Protein, and, um… “Moisture,” and “Ash.”

But if anything, this just speaks to me how good the character design for Kakuna is. They took inspiration from little writhing, slimy, nubile insects, and crafted a pokemon that’s cool, sleek and metallic looking. I’d say it’s at least superior to Metapod’s weird shape and dopey stare.

The Winner:
Red and Blue

One of these things is not like the others.

All of these things are armored, mean-looking, two-foot-tall insect pods. One of these things is an armored, mean-looking, two-foot-tall insect pod that can stab you.

Some of the others are cool anyway; Gold, Silver, and HG/SS all have some pretty sweet shading going on, and Gold’s has a sexy hourglass figure, showing good dedication to its stomach crunches I guess.

But Red and Blue’s arm protrusions are a such a classic, out-of-left-field design choice, it’s hard for me not to appreciate them. No Kakuna has ever been portrayed that way before or since. But it gave it such a scary-looking edge—to the point where I used to pretend all the other Kakunas had such protrusions too, but just chose to keep them tucked in close to their armour. The claws would come out, my 10-year-old self would say, right as they’re preparing to pounce on a human victim from the shadows inside a derelict space vessel.


  1. I always thought that in the other sprites, the thing that looks like a tie was it's arms tucked in.

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