Monday, January 3, 2011

34. Nidoking

It seems every generation of Pokemon introduces one or two giant beastly bipedal monster pokemon with a lot of spikes on them to cater to the 8 year old boy demographic. The target audience is stoked seeing their promo art, and their stokedness is only justified by the pokemon's in-game stats and abilities, which are usually overpowered. Add a degree of difficulty to the attainment of these pokemon and you have yourself a schoolyard bragging goldmine.

cough cough

So Nidoking's not that hard to get (though you do need a Moonstone), but I still lump him in this category. Look at him! How is he even related to the rest of the Nidos? You have the fairly peaceful, self-defensive savanna dwellers, and then you have this walking, bone-eating bulldozer. But y'know, I'm not even that impressed looking at Nidoking's current artwork, after seeing what he looked like in his original version:

Are you kidding? Nidoking could have looked like THAT

This was back in the days when the Pokemon art style was looser and more... fanciful? I kind of miss it. That is a dragon. It is an ogre from the depths of the earth. I don't know the evolutionary purpose of all those spikes, but I do know I don't want to mess with them. In comparison, modern day Nidoking looks like a rabbit again.

I also like Nidoking's feet, with the single toes that look like shovels, and the forearms that are thicker than the rest of the limb. And are those... elbow spikes? I mean, really.

The Winner:
FireRed and LeafGreen

This is pretty easy. Only one sprite makes even an approximation of that original artwork, and this is it. I'm guessing the FR/LG artists actually went back and looked at all the old stuff, saw that design, and were reminded: “Oh yeah! Nidoking used to be badass!” So they tried to capture that spirit as well they could, while also keeping the art PG-rated. I'd say they did an okay job.

All the recent sprites have been pretty good though, despite their spike castration. For some reason, I really like the deep green ear colour the palette now allows for. It doesn't make any sense for a purple animal to have green inner ears, but at the same time, it totally does.


  1. I remember those days. Actually, they never left. Go to any facebook page or any gathering of twenty-somethings and they'll still tell you how badass Nidoking was/is.

    Of the six Nidos, I never really cared for Nidoking, I don't make any secret of it. But even I remember thinking he meant business when I first pulled out that Nintendo Power official Pokemon Red and Blue guide. Now he looks like... a mascot. This'll sound weird but it feels like he's been Sugimorized. In otherwords, drawn in a safe comfortable style that Sugimori is known for today. So on that end, you're absolutely right about the first designs, although rough around the edges, were a lot more appealing in that he was treading new ground at the time.

    It happens to all artists at some point or another, you kind of have to go back into a learning stage to break out of that rut. In defense of current Nidoking, um, he's easier to draw. '~'

  2. LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE Nidoking. Probably possibly because he reminds me of Baragon. <3

  3. im EXTREMELY curious about what this 'original' nidoking art looked like but i cant see it because the image has 404ed

  4. Dang that nido is PISSED.
    Also, I always have noticed that they always made sure to have the big spiky dinosaur ones. In generation 1 they even made girl ones (Nidoqueen and Kangaskhan)

  5. Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking. Checkmate UU

  6. My problem with the later ones is that there are no spikes. Where are they? In Black and White that thing is a baby's bottom.

  7. Yellow's sprite is the best.He looks as if he's gonna choke you.

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