Poison types of Generation 1 (Part 4) - winstein's Review
by, 28th December 2010 at 10:31 AM (447 Views)
It’s been a long time, but this is finally the last part of the Poison-types in Generation 1, home to most of the Poison-types. In this part, all the Poison-types that are not affected by Ground attacks are covered, so if you guessed that in the question of last review, congrats (not that anyone answered it, but still...)! With that said, let's get on with the last review on the Poison-types of Generation 1!
Zubat and Golbat
These are bats, and you meet them in caves (or maybe outdoors at night too), and they are incredibly common in their residence. They are rather infamous, and it will be explained later why. Bats aren’t poisonous animals, but this on actually is. Well, some bats can transmit diseases, but still, real ones do not have any venomous qualities. This makes me wonder why they exhibit this characteristic. I am guessing that because they have vampire qualities, they were part-Poison to match that kind of deadliness.
Zubat’s eyes are non-existent, mirroring the fact real bats don’t rely on eyesight to see, but uses echolocation. Zubat also has legs reminiscent to a swallow’s tail, which is odd, but it did explain their speed. The legs are also odd because they have no feet, so it’s not clear as to how they land. Of course, bats rest upside-down, because it makes opening their flight easier, but in cases of a plain battlefield and he/she uses Roost...anyway, as many people have known, bats are not related to birds, but that doesn’t stop one from learning Brave Bird, even though it’s a parent move (reflecting an adoptive behaviour a Pokémon gets from parents).
Golbat’s body structure is an overhaul from Zubat, although the colour remains the same. Golbat’s ears relative to the rest of the body is smaller than Zubat’s, and not only that, Golbat’s head is the centre of the body, which means the wings are on the side of his/her head, and even the legs look much different, being round feet. The eyes are also becoming visible, although it looks quite small. Perhaps Golbat’s memorable trait is his/her large mouth, and a certain sprite of Golbat makes him/her rather infamous for looking either scary or absurd.
This is one of the Pokémon that many have trouble with because of not only of how common they are, but also what they can do to the trainers’ Pokémon. Because of the ubiquity, it can be quite monotonous to meet them. They have a tendency to use confusion moves on you, because the early ones have Supersonic, and Confuse Ray for some of the later ones (it’s their level up move), and confusion is an annoying status. Perhaps the defining factor of their annoyance is their Speed. Zubat’s Speed is average for a young one (55), but Golbat has a Base Speed of 90, which not only means he/she usually go first, but him/her having high Speed equals less chance of running away. Add these factors and you have an annoying Pokémon that gave players a bad experience. Just be grateful that their final evolution isn’t available in the wild!
The Poison/Flying type is unique to them, and as such, their resistances are quite unique. It is true that their resistances overlap, but this is actually a good thing, because that makes them special. Having a strong resistance to Bug and Fighting, and Grass, as well as immunity to Ground makes them able to take a hit on some nasty attacks like Megahorn and Close Combat, but of course, their weaknesses are still something to pay attention too, as the attacking types are good attacking types.
In Generation 1, Golbat was the final evolution, but Generation 2 granted Golbat an evolution, which is much appreciated. However, this would be an advantage to Golbat in the 5th Generation, because there’s this Evolution Stone item that makes Golbat’s defences greater. However, as of now, the best Golbats to use have to come from Generation 4, because there are a few things that can only be obtained there. One of them is Roost, which is no longer a TM, and recovery is important if that item were to be kept for keeping healthy. Another reason is Super Fang, which Golbat can only learn from a move tutor, seeing as Golbat’s offence isn’t the best. This meant that the ability Slip Through had to be forgone, but the ability isn’t really necessary, and besides, immunity to flinching never hurts.
The sonic waves that Zubat emits can be used for scanning patients in medication, as shown in the anime. But then, the bats also has an evil look on them, and so, are an ideal choice among most evil organisations, since at least one of their members have them in handy.
Although Zubat and Golbat are pretty cool in their own right, they can be quite annoying to face. But then, I feel their colour doesn’t look right on them, mainly because I think things with an emphasised blue over purple looked odd, or that I am more familiar with their evolution (whom has an emphasised purple over blue).
8 toxins out of 10!
Gastly, Haunter and Gengar
I may have reviewed this trio in my first review, but if a Pokémon have two types, then it will have another review in the future from a different perspective, so it will be different from the last time I reviewed them.
Gastly is appropriately a part-Poison Pokémon, because his/her body is basically poisonous gas. The Dex entries mark Gastly’s body as a very deadly substance, able to knock out an Indian Elephant (in a series where real life animals are practically nonexistent). The entry in Yellow mentions how Gastly doesn’t have a real shape, but based on the sprites in Pokémon Red, Green and Blue, this is true, but in Pokémon Yellow and beyond, Gastly has a head of a ball along with gas, which I guess is partially because it’s easier to draw that way. Gastly, like real gas, is susceptible to wind, and so he/she is easily blown away because of this.
Haunter and Gengar are more cohesive than Gastly, since they have real bodies. Because of how purple their bodies are, one can assume that they are made out of poison, because in Pokémon, the colour of poison is usually purple. Gengar’s eyes are red, which is usually a sign of danger and insomnia. Maybe Gengar’s not so insomniac, but someone who has red eyes might as well be labelled as one. But still, Gengar’s appropriately dangerous to face. Gengar, while able to sneak in shadows, cannot learn the move Shadow Sneak. When one looks at Gengar, they can draw comparisons between Clefable, whose body shape is similar to Gengar, and she can be considered the angel to Gengar’s demonic role.
There are two things that this family probably established: Ghost weak to itself, and paralysis from licking. The former is a result of the latter, in which Haunter is said to be able to lick its victims (or fellow ghosts) until they are bereft of life, and ghosts are normally composed of intangible life. Oh, and did I mention that their tongues are made of poisonous gas? Yes, they are said to be able to paralyse the licked ones, which I guess is a result from one of those Japanese yokai, since it’s unlikely that licking causes paralysis in real life.
Even though Gengar’s family are part-Poison, they cannot learn Poison moves, and instead, they usually have Ghost-type moves. However, Poison is a type of status ailment that reduces health, and they have just the non-Poison move to do the same, which is Curse, which to them, produces a different effect, also draining the health of victims.
In competitive battling, Gengar is actually a very good Pokémon, but most of his/her best qualities lie in the Ghost-type rather than the Poison-type. But still, you cannot underestimate the fringe benefits the Poison-type bring. One of them is the fact that the family isn’t affect by the poison status ailment, and not to mention some extra resistances, particularly Bug and Grass. Although Gengar is very useful since the 1st Generation, it’s not likely that one uses Gengar because of his/her Poison-type, since it was a Physical type, as well as Ghost. But then, the Ghost-type contributed most of the success, as the immunities granted by it meant that priority attacks in the first three Generations do not affect Gengar at all, and Gengar is one of the faster Pokémon.
The 4th Generation, however, allowed them to make use of their very high Special Attack for the now-Special move Sludge Bomb. However, the existence of the Steel-type meant that this attack isn’t really going to help, although a good Poisoning chance will often come in handy, as he/she can learn Evil Eye and Venom Shock. To make it short, Gengar’s offensive presence makes him/her quite deadly. Sadly, Explosion has been debuffed in the 5th Generation, which essentially removed what was Gengar’s best answer to Blissey (and other physically weaker Pokémon in general). Still, there’s no denying that Gengar will always remain useful, being the fastest Ghost-type.
As Poison-types, they don’t really demonstrate anything obvious, but at least they are more understandable than Venusaur’s family. If you ask me, I really liked this Pokémon, but to be fair, I like them more for their qualities as Ghost-types, compared to the Poison-types, as it’s not really their strongest suit. Of course, who doesn’t love Gengar’s demonic, up-to-no-good grin combined with the red eyes of doom? That’s the best part of this evolutionary line! (Also, I heard that in the TCG, Gengar Prime is a great card. Can anybody confirm and explain this?)
7 toxins out of 10!
Koffing and Weezing
Finally, we go into what are the strangest, yet popular Pokémon in the history. Their round bodies and overall quirky designs are actually more than meets the eye. In fact, there have to be a reason Koffing is the mascot for Smogon and Dogasu’s Backpack, but there really isn’t anywhere I find providing the reasons (The ones I see only explain that the names are from the different languages, not the reason the entity is chosen). From what I read, it seems that both Koffing and Weezing were to have shorter names: “Ny” and “La”, from two American states. This didn’t happen, and I think this is a good thing, because imagine the controversy that will happen it those names were chosen; I would imagine it will be similar to the Pittsburgh controversy in the comic strip Get Fuzzy back at 2003 (not that I am there to witness it).
In terms of counterparts, some would say Ekans and Arbok are obviously counterparts to them because of their appearance as Team Rocket’s Pokémon, but I believe that they are more of Grimer and Muk’s counterparts, because compared to the serpents, the living sludge have more similarities with Koffing and Weezing. Both are purple, in the Indeterminate Egg Group, have a similar Base Stat Total, and have some shared moves. Also, one is related to liquid and the other is related to gas, so that’s my reason. I could go on and on with the comparisons, but this isn’t the place to give comparisons, since the review is only directed to Koffing and Weezing.
Koffing’s gaseous body seems to be very reactive, as it is said to be able to explode at anytime, especially during hot conditions. Weezing, on the other hand, is more stable, since the gases can be passed between heads. Some Pokémon had their head cloned into more, and this one’s included in that club too. Strangely, Weezing is said to be a result of chemical fusion between two Koffings. Even stranger is that some Weezing can have three heads (I never seen one; I don’t think I had). They even have a revolting dietary preference to extremely acerbic gases from rubbish, and I know just the Pokemon who can do that.
Although Koffing was the first Pokémon we (used to) see James owning, it wasn’t his first Pokémon, but still, Koffing was memorable because he used it often, and he’s one of the main characters. Like Jessie’s Arbok, Weezing also has some affection to James, whom evolved because he hoped that Koffing did. From what I see, James’ Koffing/Weezing is more useful than Jessie’s Ekans, who uses blinding gas to help Team Rocket escape the good guys, and not to mention James’ Weezing even save the heroes in the first Celebi movie with the blinding smoke, which is definitely something. Still, in the end, Weezing went off in Hoenn to protect the multitude of Koffings, never to be seen again. What a pity, though, I actually like Weezing than, say, Arbok.
In competitive battling, one of their best qualities is their defence. Unlike many levitators, one of their weaknesses is nullified with it, leaving them with only one to worry about. That, and the fact that they have a high Defence, makes them quite bulky. Although their bulk and typing make them useful, one cannot overlook their offensive capabilities as well, as they have average Attack and Special Attack. It’s also worth noting that they can learn Flamethrower/Fire Blast and Thunderbolt/Thunder, which are great moves, and unlike Muk, Weezing can actually do some damage with those moves. Sludge Bomb can also be considered as an offensive move, as well as Explosion, if you are playing the game in Generation 4 or earlier.
The 5th Generation gave Koffing a very nice move, and that is Stockpile. Never before had they been able to use that move, while Grimer and Muk could use earlier. This is a windfall for their defensive capabilities, as a defensive boost does wonders to their capabilities. Remember that they have a recovery move (Pain Split), so they can recover when needed. To get this great move, you have to breed for one, typically with a Swalot parent, preferably one tutored with Pain Split.
If skulls and crossbones make anything cooler, then I am sure this Pokemon won’t disappoint you, because while they had a dopey look on their faces, they are much deadlier than they look, so it’s a good idea not to mess around with them, because their explosion can be one stink bomb to clean up after that. Personally? Pokemon with a non-serious expression and overall abstract appearance are my cup of tea, so I don’t care what other people criticise about these Pokemon; I love this Pokemon!
10 toxins out of 10!
At last, we reach the end of the long journey of Generation 1 Poison-types. Are you glad it's over? I know I am. However, this means that we will cover Generation 2's few Poison-types next time, so stay tuned! Remember to provide feedback in the form of constructive criticism (I don't actually get them, so I am asking now) when you're done. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.
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