Wednesday, September 14, 2011

45. Vileplume

All due apologies for the dearth of updates. Now I am settled at school and can get back to two or more posts a month maybe!!

I've been really wary that this blog doesn't become just an inferior version of that guy who does the Origin of Species posts on Bulbapedia. But to summarise: Vileplume is based on the world's biggest flower species, which can weigh up to 22 pounds, has no stem or root system, grows parasitically on vines of a specific rainforest genus, and smells like a corpse.

That is a pretty great pokemon inspiration. So next time you hear someone complaining that new pokemon are all based on weird things they don't get, and Gen I was simple and innocent, you can shove a rafflesia in their face. Or maybe shove their face in a rafflesia. I mean, it's big enough. That's why in every picture of a person with a rafflesia, it looks like they're contemplating sticking their head in its gullet.

And they all look like perfect fits too! Clearly this is the Amigara Fault of the vegetable world. All those people are like, “It's my hole!” I'm starting to think the flower's recessed centre isn't for collecting gallons of rainwater or protecting stamen, but for biting off tourist heads. The corpse smell is the digestion process.

Vileplume's design is appropriately sinister, then. Sure, a lot of these sprites are a little too frolicking and silly, but that wide-brim flowertop and dark underbody are just asking to be made all shadowy and beckoning. And the red dot eyes return from Oddish. I always thought Vileplume's moment of glory was when Karen, the Dark type Johto Elite Four member, had one in her party. Just when you have your Fighting pokemon all ready, you get Petal Dance'd in the face. More gym leaders and Elite Four trainers should have off-type pokemon. Take note, Game Freak.

In my HeartGold Nuzlocke game I have a Gloom, met in Ilex forest, with an Adamant nature, which is basically the worst nature a Gloom can possibly have (high attack, low sp. attack). For a while I considered evolving it to Bellossom so it could learn Leaf Blade, but then decided against it because Bellossom is lame. No pokemon could possibly fit less into its evolutionary line; it's smaller than the pokemon it evolves from, and less interesting. It generally smacks of “Hey guys, our grass type pokemon are too unique. What are these, venus flytraps, bulging corpse flowers, a palm tree with heads for coconuts? What our fans want is a pokemon that's completely generic!” And so was born Bellossum. And that's fine, but have it stand alone; don't use it to crowd the back end of a pokemon line that is actually good. VILEPLUME FOREVER.

The Winner:
Black and White

HG/SS would have won here, if it weren't for Black and White. Vileplume's recent artists totally get it. The shadowyness, the slight tilt, the ambiguous smile. B/W has particularly dead-looking colours. They have a great Sugimori model from which to work, and this sprite is basically a recreation of that, which is perfectly fine.

In fact, they might even get more out of Vileplume in pixel art. Because check out its eyes:

These are the glowing sentient parasite jester eyes of nightmares. If you see these in your garden, run.

Just imagine them under a real rafflesia.

I'm going to go get no sleep now.


  1. Yes! Finally another entry, I was really excited about this and just love reading about them, keep up the good work!

  2. glad to see you back, dude!! loving your update, i had no idea it was based on a real plant... and thank you for putting the eyes on that plant... i didn't need to sleep tonight anyways >3< hee hee. seriously, i always enjoyed coming back and veiwing your pokemon, it's been quiet without a laugh or two while reading your comments :)

  3. Oh my GOD! Imagine coming home from work, settling down on the couch, and by habit coming to this Blog PRAYING to see the Vileplume entry up. That's my reality right now and I feel like I'm in heaven! Great to have you back! Here's wishing you tons of success in school!

  4. Woo! :D Your back!:D Heh, love the end picture. XD >:3 Now I hope I don't ever see one in a real rainforest, I would run. XD BTW don't worry about Origin of the Species, it was a lot of tl;dr. :P You summarize more, and it's not even the point. You make it funny, and find the best sprite. :P I think you should always have a little evaluation of the usefulness of the pokemon so people can decide if they want to go catch one. :)

  5. I'm not a very good judge of usefulness. You are talking to someone who tried to take Shedinja and Mawile through the Elite Four in Ruby because he thought they were cool.

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