Thursday, June 30, 2011

43. Oddish

so a guy walks into the pokemart asking for a grass-type pokemon and I say “would you like a walking radish” and he says “walking radish that sounds odd” and I say “well, it's Oddish

Guess what I found in my unkept-new-growth-forest backyard when I got home from school this year?

It's an ODDISH PLANT. I swear I didn't plant or arrange this in any way; it just grew there itself. With no others around it. It probably gets up and walks around at night. A touring turnip!

Oddish is based none too subtly on mandrake roots, the things that in Mrs. Sprout's class in Harry Potter mythology, will scream and kill everyone if you dig them up, and curse you forever, and make you poisoned and hallucinatory and fertile and aroused, and only grow where semen from hanged men drips on the ground. Look, I'm not making this stuff up. Their roots rather creepily resemble people from the waist down, and so cultures have given them all kinds of creepy associations. Like they possess human souls, or we descend from them. Oddish's adorable little pixel eyes bely something sinister!

Unfortunately, this bipedal beetroot is a fairly straightforward grass/poison type in-game, among an army of Gen I grass/poison types. But I do appreciate that in Gen II, it only comes out at night in Ilex Forest. That was one of my favourite uses of the whole night dynamic, and is a nice nod to Oddish's background. Also, from Gen III onward, their eyes are always blood red. Full of evil!

Oddish is also surprisingly fun to train. Take one for a walk in Union Cave, beat up on Geodudes and Sandshrews, and watch as your traveling chard grows ten levels in an hour. For a while, this made me think Oddish might actually grow faster than other pokemon, sort of like how your starting pokemon always seems to grow really fast. How ignorant I was of EXPERIENCE GROUPS.

Just when you think you're pretty well-versed in secret pokemon formulae! Experience groups! Those are charts of all six of them, showing how many exp. points (y axis) it takes to reach each level (x axis), up to 50 on the left and 100 on the right. Oddish is in the Medium Slow group (purple), along with all starting pokemon. The amount of experience it takes them to reach level x is given by the formula: 6/5x^3 – 15x^2 + 100x – 140, to a maximum of 1,059,860 at lv100. Compare this to the Medium Fast group (yellow), which is the most populous of all groups: its experience at level x is simply x^3, to 1,000,000 at lv100. But observe: the Medium Slow group actually grows faster than the Medium Fast group until level 67! Making it kind of a misnomer. And it is the fastest to lv50, besides the Fast group (which is all of Jigglypuff, Clefairy and Chansey in Gen I). Anyway, what I am getting at is Oddish does grow reasonably fast.

In conclusion, I just want to share one of my favourite TCG illustrations:

Oddish, you pondered all the questions of your existence in relation to a wayward leaf on the river already, didn't you. Nyoro~n

The Winner:
HeartGold and SoulSilver

This one is tough, because I went off about how Oddish should be dark, which suits the early-gen Oddishes. But then I also like the red-eye version, which suits later-gen Oddishes! But then, and maybe this is just my screen's resolution and colour values, but some of those eyes are so small they're hard to see! As for Oddish's leaf hairdo, that has looked pretty stylish ever since Yellow. Perhaps Platinum could use a trim. Finally, you get to choose between the joyful Oddishes, and the pensive Oddishes. Really, all these sprites are pretty good.

I like this one the best, though, because it's just so happy. It's plump and has a pretty good face-to-leaves ratio which allows for its expressiveness. More of it is in shadow than its GBA and DS brethren, which is good. It's not as mobile as some others (and a mobile mangelwurzel should be mobile), but makes up for it with that tilted, inviting look. “Hi! Come get poisoned!”

I hope you enjoy all my root vegetable alliteration. Running rutabaga.


  1. Welcome back! It's great to see you updating again.

  2. Woot! I missed you!

  3. I'm particularly fond of the way D/P Oddish is jumping. Not quite sure why.

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