The basis behind Obstagoon to Sirfetch’d
We cover the eating of birds to musical bands getting references!
It’s our fourth edition of exploring what generation eight Pokémon are based on. In this article we’ll tackle the likes of Obstagoon, Morpeko, Cramorant and Polteageist. We’ll also examine the Galarian forms of Weezing, Zigzagoon, and Linoone – and the most recent addition to Galar in Sirfetch’d!
Obstagoon – and Galarian Zigzagoon and Linoone
The Linoone of the Galar region live in harsh conditions compared to those found in other regions, with fierce competition against others of their species. Their survival instincts have been honed as a result, leading to their Evolution into Obstagoon.
Though Obstagoon is extremely combative, it seems that it doesn’t often launch the first attack. It will taunt an opponent, goading it into attacking. When it does, Obstagoon will cross its arms and meet the oncoming attack with its Obstruct move.
The name Obstagoon is easy enough to work out – there’s “obstruct” (which is even the name of its unique move), and “goon” – a phrase used to describe a troublemaker. The whole line is obviously based on uncouth youths that cause trouble – the descriptions about the line in Galar say as much.
Obstagoon is based on a badger, although a more humaniod-looking one than usual. Its fur has a mixture of straight and zig-zag lines, a reference to its previous evolution’s themes. (Zigzagoon could only move in zigzags, while Linoone only ever goes in straight lines.) This also arguably relates to their behaviour – Galarian Zigzagoon will “charge at people and other Pokémon in an attempt to provoke a fight”, while Galarian Linoone instead of provoking a fight will “recklessly pick fights even with opponents stronger than themselves… Their fearlessness, as well as their tendency to attack opponents head on”.
Galarian Zigzagoon and Linoone also parallel the difference between European and Japanese badgers. Badgers in Japan are brown with small black markings, while European badgers retained their black and white fur. Canonically, it means the Galarian Zigzagoon came first – as the Japanese variant of badgers came afterward.
There’s one clear homage in Obstagoon’s design, and that’s to the rock band Kiss (or KIϟϟ). The whole evolutionary line, in fact, seems to be a reference to it. There’s a clear emphasis on the white and black colouration, the tongue sticking out, the additional fur, and even the cross and patterns on their bodies. The lead singer for the band, Gene Simmons, is happy with the reference.
Morpeko constantly generates electricity with the sacs in its cheeks. This consumes energy, causing Morpeko to be constantly hungry. This is why Morpeko is always carrying around Berry seeds, protecting them with care. They serve as a snack!
When experiencing prolonged hunger, the balance of hormones within Morpeko’s body changes. This causes its fur color to change and triggers more aggressive and volatile behavior. The energy stored in its cheek sacs also changes from Electric type to Dark type.
There’s the clear theme on being angry when you are hungry – or “hangry” for this little hamster. The mood swing is spelt out in its description, and reflected in its unique Ability and type change.
Beyond that Morpeko is based on a hamster, and quite possibly just your typical domestic one as well. It carrying around Berry seeds to use as a snack is behaviour seen in hamsters, carrying food in their cheeks. Constantly producing energy and needing food to recover seems to fit the choice of animal neatly too. Beyond that, Morpeko is Galar’s continuation of the traditional, totally-not-Pikachu-inspired, electric rodent representation for the eighth generation.
When it comes to food, it will try to swallow anything it can fit in its mouth. Sometimes it will swallow things that aren’t its intended prey, spitting them out in a hurry once it realizes its mistake.
Cramorant can be forgetful, but it will never forget a Trainer it grows to trust. However, it seems that even Trainers will face fierce attacks from their Cramorant if they try to steal its food.
Cramorant, a Water/Flying-type bird, is based on the coastal species of cormorants – a fish-eating bird found worldwide. They have a long, hooked bill and webbed feet, so the inspiration there is obvious enough. Cormorants also dive to catch their fish, relating to Cramorant obtaining a fish in its bill after using Surf or Dive.
The exaggerated feature is Cramorant’s trying to eat everything, including fish too big for its mouth which it spits out at opponents when hurt. That said, this has been used by people with real-life cormorants. By placing snares or rings around the neck of the bird, the cormorant would be unable to swallow large fish, which fisherman would then extract from their pet birds.
The name is a corruption of cormorant, with “cram”, a reference to stuffing its mouth with fish, replacing ‘crom’. Amusingly, its Japanese name is ウッウ – aka “U’u”.
Polteageist’s body is made from black tea and is said to have a very distinct aroma and flavor. It will only allow a Trainer it trusts to sample its tea. However, drinking too much can lead to indigestion or an upset stomach, so be careful!
Many Polteageist make their homes inside hotels and restaurants, disguising themselves and hiding among the tableware. They can pour their power into leftover tea and create even more of their kind, so they’re often treated as pests.
Polteageist is a straightforward one – a ghost that inhabits and manipulates a teapot, to the point of “tea” creeping into its name. While we’ve seen Rotom possess electrical devices – especially recently – this is a different direction with the body made of tea and an ordinary household and non-electrical object being possessed.
Tea is a popular and much consumed product in Britain. It’s no surprise then that it is used as an inspiration for a Pokémon of Galar. The lore on Polteageist making their homes in hotels and restaurants, where tea would be commonly found and served, also makes sense.
Galarian Weezing consumes polluted air and poisonous gases for sustenance. The air and gases absorbed will have toxins removed before being spewed out again from the tops of Weezing’s heads. Apparently the air produced through this purification process is very clean!
The toxins accumulated within Weezing’s body form into concentrated poison gas clouds that leak out and drift around it. This gas is so potent that even a whiff is enough to stun and immobilize an opponent. It is Weezing’s best weapon during battles.
Galarian Weezing gains a surprising Fairy typing here, which may not appear to match its appearance. However, you could reason it from the lore. While regular Weezing pollutes the air, Galarian Weezing does the reverse and lives on pollution, and removes toxins from the air. Recall, then, that Fairy types are weak to Poison, and that ‘fairy’ or faerie can loosely translate to air spirit. As Galarian Weezing purifies the air, it does arguably compliment that new typing.
The design takes the, perhaps stereotypically British, top hat and places it upon Weezing’s head. They also loosely represent silos seen in large industry buildings that exhaust a lot of pollution into the air, which may be a hint as to a way people use Galarian Weezing. It is worth noting that Galarian Weezing is rather like Alolan Grimer and Muk – Pokémon which can be used for the benefit of the environment and remove pollutants, be it toxins in the air, or rubbish. It’s not a bad bet that we’ll see it play a similar role in Galar.
The Farfetch’d of the Galar region can evolve into Sirfetch’d after experiencing many battles. They are calm and collected, and they make a point of always battling fairly. They are so noble in battle that they are often chosen as a motif for paintings. Of particular note is a painting—famous in the Galar region—that depicts a duel between a Sirfetch’d and an Escavalier.
In battle, Sirfetch’d uses the sharp stalk of its leek as a lance and the thick leaves as a shield. It maintains this leek over the span of many years and treasures it more than anything. When its leek finally withers, Sirfetch’d will leave the battlefield and retire from battling entirely.
Sirfetch’d is the surprising evolution for the oft-forgotten Farfetch’d (unless, of course, you’ve been following a certain
leek leak). It is almost a poster child for the Pokémon Sword and Shield games in that it carries both a sword-like apparatus (a very long leek) and a shield, the latter also fashioned from the vegetable. The Farfetch’d line is an extension of a Japanese expression of “a duck comes bearing bunching onions” – meaning something that is unexpected (or, well, farfetch’d), but pleasant – a bird that comes with its own accompaniment for dinner! Maybe not for the Farfetch’d, however, given that the Pokédex tells us this:
Farfetch’d makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek. Because of this, Farfetch’d is nearly extinct.
Yikes! Maybe this is why Sirfetch’d comes bearing a shield to protect itself from hungry Trainers? It’s clear that its leek is much like a lance – this now flightless bird is somewhat like a jouster – it just lacks a horse (maybe a Rapidash?). Jousting was a large part of the Anglo-Norman history with knighthoods – that would be where the ‘Sir’ comes into Sirfetch’d’s name. Sirfetch’d retiring when its own leek withers hence also makes sense – it can no longer joust without a sword!
Which is your favourite generation eight Pokémon so far? Let us know of your interpretations of what they are based on.
Edited by ddrox13 and Sheep.
Thanks to Blue_Pigeon for the additional information.