Wednesday, January 5, 2011

36. Clefable

So Clefairy's design is somewhat boring, but how about when it evolves? The creative team must have something good in store to reward players for putting up with training such a bland basic form, right?

Oh, it's... a taller Clefairy.

Godammit, that is not evolution, that is called growing.

That's right, Clefable adds absolutely nothing to Clefairy's design, except longer ears and wings, and a more pillar-like shape. It is basically a pink rectangle. It is basically an extremely feminized Whomp.

I mean really, you have like 4000 years of faerie artwork produced by mankind from which to draw inspiration, and this and Clefairy are what you come up with?

Well, surely, there is at least some reason to play as it in the game? Such a rare pokemon must have rare, powerful abilities? NOPE. Clefable doesn't learn attacks after evolution, and you have to train Clefairy into the mid-thirties level to even get Metronome, which BY THE WAY, does something useful about one tenth of the time. Also, it's a TM/move tutor, so you can give it for free to pretty much any pokemon you want anyway. Togepi gets it as a starting move, what takes Clefairy so long? Oh also, Clefairy and Clefable are normal types. Because y'know, rare mystical creatures must have nothing elementally special about them at all.

There is exactly one nice thing I can say about this pokemon line. It helps encourage a healthy body image. Observe some of the more female-appearing humanoid pokemon from recent Generations:
And then their counterparts from Generation I:
So Clefable, at least, is spared the Bratz doll influence. Not that the Pokemon fandom would objectify Clefable even if it was slim and trim. It simply sucks too much.

The Winner:
Red and Green

If I wanted to be really snarky here I would say: you know something's wrong with a pokemon's design when only Red and Green's usually decrepit style can manage to make it look right. But no... actually, that's just a really good Red and Green sprite. Like, it might be the most normal-looking in those games.

I'm not sure what it is... perhaps a combination of these things: It's got an interesting angle, leaning to the right, not showing off its paunch, as all the others do; it's got a flat, cartoony style that best suits its flat, cartoony design; its arms come higher out of its body, giving it an added sense of height; its foot held aloft (which actually looks natural, unlike the foot tacked on to the R/B sprite, which... just—don't get me started) makes it look actually capable of action, perhaps of the stomping variety (and not D/P's ice-skating variety, or FR/LG's praising-Jesus variety); it's white, a suitable otherwordly colour, rather than the mildly unsettling, salmony flesh tone all the later sprites adopt; and it's got sweet ears. They're the biggest ears in any of the sprites, with cool black ridges, and sufficient to give Clefable a sort of underlying T-shape rather than a rectangle.

Man. How is that sprite so good, and all the proceeding ones so bad? I'm seriously weirded out here. Normally R/G sprites make me quietly question all my critiquing as being somewhat anachronistic, since all pokemon started out (save for concept work) as virtually indiscernible bunches of pixels, and all the seemingly canonical personalities we've since attributed them were really added after the fact. But this pokemon looked pretty put-together from the beginning, and then just... degenerated. Maybe it's a purely a victim of bad sprite work? That almost makes me want to be more generous about the Clefairy line's potential. Almost.


  1. Oh, your blog makes me laugh so much. Really looking forward to new entries soon <3

  2. That...Red and Green Sprite is actually pretty fantastic.

  3. I can't see the sprites at the top or most of the "more female appearing humanoids pokemon" sprites.

    1. The female appearing ones are Lopunny, Gardevoir, and Meloetta, all (especially the latter two) displaying large heads and unnaturally slender bodies, and all designed to look like pretty females.

    2. Gardevoir isn't supposed to be feminine, it's supposed to resemble a Mage/knight/wizard protector hence the Japanese name Sirknight

  4. I hate how Clefable is a taller, less cute version of Clefairy. those lines around it's eyes just make it look weird.
    Though I have to say the old Clefairy and Clefable sprites are really good.

  5. is u a boy person or a girl person???

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