While my computer and I deal with what seems like a neverending barrage of technical barriers and the world is abuzz with Con season news, I am trying to get back into blogging on a regular basis. I know there are people waiting for content from me, so I’d like to sincerely thank you all as I do my best to get what I’ve already written somewhere you can read it.
I won’t say the hype has died down, but Pokémon Sun and Moon news has reached enough of an equilibrium with weekly news that I can talk about my own desires for the franchise created without me in mind.
For the record, “me” means an American who dedicates a few hours a week to the game, is still struggling to complete my first National Pokédex, and know enough about breeding to be very happy with the single 4 IV Masuda Method shiny that I’ve got without any expectation of ever having a perfect IV or full shiny tam. New generations and people who use the word “metagame” are the ones who have a serious impact.
While I talk about Pokémon Sun and Moon here on Insomniatic, I’ll be making posts about Pokémon Go over at Fantasy & SciFi Lovin’. I’m sure there are plenty of fans of this game as well, so please check my articles over there out and comment!
Still, I have the right to my opinion, and some of the things I’d like to see may even resonate with other fans. Some of them may even be possible.
For those who aren’t complete nerds, Pokémon Sun and Moon are the first two games to be released in the twenty year old franchise’s seventh generation. They are set in a fictional version of Hawaii (the Alola Region), feature an as-yet unknown mechanic that is probably an expansion of Generation VI’s Mega Evolution, and will feature, among other things, a free-for-all mode named “Battle Royals”. The games were announced this Spring and will see release in November.
#10: Baby Onix
Let’s start this list small. Onix has long been a staple of the Pokémon franchise, having been a main character in the first season of the anime by virtue of being the first gym leader in the franchise’s strongest Pokémon .
He had as much personality as any pet the size of a building and most fans my age will instantly recognize him. Prior to the Game Boy Color generation, Onix even had a unique shiny (off-color/palette-swap) form in the anime: Crystal Onix (pictured below next to regular and shiny Onix sprites).
Crystal Onix never made it to any game, yet is such a fan favorite that even to this day people request it to appear, and will certainly be one of the first new forms if multiple shiny forms are introduced into a future generation.
In Generation II, Onix was one of eight Pokémon from Generation I to be rewarded with a new evolution (not counting those granted a pre-evolution), something that many of his non-evolving brethren would not see until Generation IV. Steelix has been as much of a hit as any of his companions, except for maybe Espeon and Umbreon.
For years, that was as far as it went. When Magmar, Rhydon, Tangela, Lickitung, and even Eevee (again) got new evolutions, Onix and Steelix remained behind. After all, whoever heard of a Pokémon that evolved by trading getting a new form?
Finally, Generation VI returned to Steelix. Mega Steelix was one of two Pokémon chosen to represent Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in the Demo version, the other being Mega Glalie. This made Steelix one of less than 40 Pokémon (sure to increase to 60 in Generation VII) with the ability to Mega Evolve.
But there is one thing missing. In Generation I, Pokémon breeding was impossible in-game. Since then, many Pokémon have been given early “Baby” forms, often with the ability to learn moves their adult forms cannot. Some, either introduced in Generation II or in the same generation as their parents, happen naturally. Others, usually introduced later, occur only if their parent is holding a special item, although they are said to occur naturally in the wild. (One such example of this is Mirage Island in Generation III, populated entirely by Wynaut, which requires an Odd Incense to obtain via breeding a Wobuffet.)
Adding Baby Pokémon has been helpful in diversifying lines as well as giving a solid identity to these Pokémon . In fact, thanks in part to Baby Pokémon , only four Generation I Pokémon are single-form evolution lines. While Onix is not among them (thanks to Steelix) I think it has earned a full set.
The only typing that I reasonably envision for a pre-evolution of Onix is pure ground. While it’s not unheard of for a Pokémon to lose their original typing due to evolving, I think it’s thematically appropriate and ties this tunnel-dwelling evolution line together. On top of this, Baby Pokémon are traditionally more fragile than their original form, which to me means “lose the rock typing”.
Having a pure ground pre-evolution really spells out this Pokémon ’s traits. I see the name as being something like “Sandix” – as simple as its existing forms – although a common option I’ve seen via Google is “Pebblix” and I sort of like “Rox”. Its Pokédex entry would probably say it was discovered so late because it is photophobix. It would look like a cross between Dunsparce and Onix. As far as moves, it would of course know common moves like Growl, with one or two standouts like Mud Slap, Rototiler, and Bulldoze to make it worthwhile for breeding. Altogether it’s a pretty small addition to the game, but one that I would appreciate.
Honorable Mentions: If new Baby forms are introduced, it would be nice to see a form that does for Miltank and Tauros what Tyrogue did for Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Heracross and Pinsir get this treatment; it always seemed strange to me that Scizor was an evolved form of Scyther while Heracross was completely unrelated to Pinsir. If both of these ideas became a reality, Ditto and Farfetch’d would be the only Generation I Pokémon to neither have other evolutionary states nor Mega forms (except for Legendaries, which as a rule neither evolve nor breed).