My Poke-Pinions #029-034 The Nido Line

Nidoran ♀ and Nidoran ♂

Name: I’m gonna let the Wiki take a walk for a second.

“Nidoran♀ may be derived from needle. It may also come from cnidocyte, a type of venomous cell responsible for the stings delivered by stinging animals, most notably jellyfish. Alternatively, it may be based on ni (two) or 二度 nido (two times/two degrees) referring to the two distinct evolutionary lines with similar names and traits. Also, the Japanese word ran is translated as orchid in English. Orchids are flowers that can be purple or blue, these being the same colors as the male and female evolutionary forms of Nidoran, respectively.” That’s uh…a lot to process.

Personally, I was never really able to gauge any origins of Nidoran’s name before, but these theories are interesting, particularly the note about cnidocytes. ‘Nido’ meaning ‘two times/degrees’ also makes sense, but it seems weird to point this out considering that they’re two different evolutionary lines that are separated by gender when nearly any line could technically do that. It’s just that the Nido line happens to look more different based on gender than most lines, and they’re named differently based on those gender differences.

For instance, Nidorina ends with an A, which is typical of feminine names, and Nidorino ends with an O which is more typical of masculine names. Then there’s the obvious with Nidoking and Nidoqueen. What I’m trying to say is, technically, they didn’t have to make these lines entirely separate. They could have just given them a gender neutral name scheme and kept up the gender icons like with Nidoran at the start. It’s like they really wanted them to be separate lines because they look quite a bit different and have some small differences as a result, so they might have incorporated that into the name.

I mean, technically, we do that with regular animals too. We say bulls and cows, stallions and mares, roosters and hens, goose and gander etc. But they’re still the same species. Bucks and does are still deer. Lionesses are still lions. Drakes are still ducks. Separating the line like that just makes it seem like they are legitimately different species, which they aren’t, as far as I can tell. They are treated as different lines, but, when bred with a Pokemon that is not a Nidoran male, the egg of a female Nidoran still has a chance of hatching into a male Nidoran. In my opinion, in a real world context, they wouldn’t be treated as a separate species entirely.

Anyhoo, the orchid thing….I mean, I guess that works? But that’s really flimsy if you ask me. That would fit better if Nidoran were a Grass type or had anything to do with flowers.

After looking up more information on orchids, they are prominent symbols of love and fertility, which is an explanation that I think works better than ‘orchids can be the same colors as the Pokemon.’

I never really much liked or disliked the name Nidoran. It’s a perfectly fine name and it’s memorable enough. However, I was always slightly annoyed at how you had to specify the gender whenever you were talking about it, so their names typically come out as literally ‘Nidoran female’ and ‘Nidoran male.’ And whenever typing it out, you had to copy the gender symbol from somewhere. If you’re going to give different names to the rest of the line, why not do the same for the base evos? Also, for this sake, I’m going to refer to them as NF and NM throughout this post.

Designs: I’ve always thought both Nidorans had a very cute and unique design. NF gives off a lot of hamster vibes, which is very cute, and I love her little single front tooth. I also absolutely adore the color choices too.

NM is also very cute. I love that he has bigger rabbit-like ears and a more….kinda baby-dinosaur-esque style to it. I also think it’s interesting how they basically swapped the traditional gender colors. NF is blue while NM is pink. It’s also a very nice shade of pink. A bit of a light fuchsia-ish kinda color.

NF Sprites

R/B’s sprite looks a little off because the head is too smooth. They didn’t add the head horn until later, it seems.

Everything about average until Crystal where it gets an adorable little animation like its whiskers are twitching after sniffing the air.

Gen III’s really cute, but the animation for Emerald is a bit too twitchy.

Gen IV is also good, but, again, the animation for HG/SS is just twitchy and strange.

I REALLY don’t like the sprite for Gen V based purely on the fact that the animation makes it look like it’s hyperventilating.

Everything else is okay.

NM Sprites

What the hell is up with NM in R/B/G? Its eyes look way too big.

And what highlighter did they color in Yellow’s sprite with?

Gold is basically what R/B/G should have looked like.

Silver is incredibly adorable. Very bunny-esque

I hate Crystal’s animation, though, because it just looks like the animation was poorly done. It just doesn’t look right.

Gen III’s looking good. I like that cool pouncing animation they gave it in Emerald.

Gen IV is also good, but, again, the animation for HG/SS is just twitchy and weird.

Gen V’s animation is cute, but just bordering on moving its ears so much that it might be trying to emulate Dumbo.

Everything else is fine.

Shinies: Nidoran’s shinies are interesting because they’re palette swapped between the two subsets. NF’s shiny is pinkish purple while NM’s is blue. It’s a simple idea, but it works very well because both Pokemon look great in their counterpart’s colors.

Cries/Voices: Both of the Nidos have very similar voices. It’s basically just cute mumbling. NM’s voice might be a tiny bit deeper, but that’s about it. I think their voices work relatively well for them. They’re pretty cute.

NF’s game cry is pretty cute, but generic, and NM’s is a little more annoying because, for some reason, they gave it a higher-pitched screech-ish cry. I don’t think it fits as well.

Dex Entries and Backstories:

NF

A lot of the discussion on both Nidos is about their horns and their poisonous properties. In fact, that’s really all there is to say about the female version. NF is more docile than the male version, but they will attack with their poisonous barbs if threatened. Their horns are smaller than the male’s, and their horns are more rounded, but they do have a better sense of smell than the males.

In terms of design, Nidoran (Both male and female) takes a lot of inspiration from various rodents such as hamsters and porcupines, with some obvious inspirations from venomous mammals like shrews and platypuses, but the Wiki notes that they seem most similar to hyraxes, which I’ve never heard of before. Despite looking like they belong to the rodent family, they’re apparently more closely related to elephants and manatees, due to their features such as “toenails, excellent hearing, sensitive pads on their feet, small tusks, good memory, higher brain functions compared with other similar mammals, and the shape of some of their bones.” as well as other anatomical similarities.

NM

Like the female Nidoran, much of the focus in the Dex entries is on NM’s horns and poison. Its horns are larger than the female’s, and it tends to be more aggressive. While I thought that the aspect of having a better sense of smell made up for its smaller horns in comparison to the male’s, apparently NM has more benefits anyway because it’s heavily implied that it has much better hearing than the female…

Nidorina and Nidorino

Names: Nidorina and Nidorino both have fine names, and they’re suitable off-shoots of Nidoran. Like I mentioned before, their names are derived from simply indicating genders via the A for female and O for male rule that some languages use.

Designs: Nidorina has a cute design. She’s obviously bigger and tougher than NF, but there’s still a feminine quality to it. The shade of blue that they chose is pretty nice as well.

I’ve always really liked Nidorino’s design. It’s big and burly while still being a little cute. Definitely looks like he could impale the hell out of anything he sets his sights on. Really like the fuchsia-esque purple/pink color they have going on.

Nidorina Sprites

What…the hell….is up with Gen I? Why does Nidorina look like a pig? Why does R/B make it look like she’s presenting her ass to someone? What is this?

Gen II looks pretty good, although the animation on Crystal is questionable because it just looks like she’s saying “Shoo! Shoo! Go on, git!”

Gen III is good, but DEAR GOD the animation in Emerald is ridiculously doofy. It literally looks like she’s going “Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

Gen IV is an improvement as it’s a little more dynamic, but HG/SS’s animation is a very typical bounce.

Gen V is fine, but, again, I can’t get into the animation. It looks like she’s either clapping slowly or trying to grab something.

Everything else is okay.

Nidorino Sprites

Nidorino definitely made off well when it came to the Gen I sprites. He looks pretty damn nice and accurate to how we know of him today. I especially like Yellow’s sprite because it has such an attitude.

Gen II’s pretty good and intimidating, but Crystal’s animation looks odd. It kinda looks like he’s patting the spot next to him to call someone over to sit.

Gen III’s alright. The animation on Emerald is nice since it makes it look like it’s both approaching you and jumping.

Gen IV is a little weird just because I don’t know why his leg is sticking out like that.

The animation for HG/SS makes it look like he’s barking.

Gen V is….okay, but he’s bouncing so much that looks like he’s hyperventilating.

Usually I find Gens VI and VII to be alright, but this time they fumbled and made Nidorino look doofy. His eyes are too small and the saturation of his coloring is low, making him look sickly.

Shinies: Like with Nidoran, the shinies of Nidorina and Nidorino are just palette swapped versions of each other. Although, I should note that Nidorina is clearly more pink than Nidorino (he’s more of a pinkish-purple) and Nidorino is clearly a deeper more stark blue, almost bordering into a light purple shade in some versions.

For some reason, Gens VI and VII for Nidorino come out looking gray to me, though.

Both shinies are REALLY nice. I especially love Nidorino’s. Besides the gray-ish hues of the new Gens, every other version looks really cool.

Cry/Voice: Nirorina’s voice is a bit too high-pitched and close to NF’s. Nidorino’s voice is excellent, though I feel like it’s probably a stock roaring sound from some animal.

The exact opposite problem occurs in the games. Nidorina’s cry is made more low-pitched and suitable for her evolved state, but Nidorino’s is made high-pitched and not very intimidating at all.

Dex Entries and Backstories:

Nirorina

Nidorina is very gentle and motherly. Her horns obviously aren’t as developed and large as her male counterpart’s. When in battle, she will either present her barbs more prominently or choose to bite and scratch. For some weird reason, the Dex entries are very focused on the fact that Nidorina will chew up her food and spit it out for her young. She also uses ultrasonic waves emitted from her mouth as a means of defense if she feels she or her young are being threatened, though, oddly enough, while many Dex entries state that, Nidorina cannot learn Supersonic or any type of sonic attack in any Gen.

Sword mentions that it’s hypothesized that Nidorina’s horn is smaller than Nidorino’s in order to prevent her young from being poked…..is it just me or is that silly? There are many Pokemon with dangerous designs and they’re not altered for the sake of protecting their children from being hurt.

In terms of design, Nidorina is reportedly based on porcupines, rabbits, mice and/or hamsters, which….yeah okay, but are we still going to ignore the clear dinosaur vibe?

Nidorino

Unlike the more docile Nidorina, Nidorino is notoriously aggressive and will attack perceived enemies almost immediately with the venomous horn on his head. The venom’s potency will change depending on his adrenaline level at the time of attack. The horn in question is harder than diamonds, and it uses the horn to ram into boulders in search of a Moon Stone. Nidorino also use their large ears to listen for hostile presences and will react immediately if it hears anything.

Nidorino has the same design lineup as Nidorina, but the rhino has also been added as inspiration due to his aggressive and independent nature. Not sure why rhinos wouldn’t also fit with Nidorina, considering the rhinoceros was also listed as being inspiration for the name.

Nidoqueen and Nidoking

Names: Very fitting for the end of this evo line to be named King and Queen. I like the names Nidoking and Nidoqueen. They’re my favorite names of the bunch.

Designs: Nidoking has been and will always be one of the most notable powerhouse designs of Gen I. It’s an awesome final stage for the line, and it’s incredibly intimidating and cool. No Pokemon can make pink look as kickass as Nidoking.

Nidoqueen is also pretty cool, and I love that shade of blue, it’s perfect for her, but, admittedly, she doesn’t really have as cool of a design as Nidoking. It retains its femininity and gains a very motherly appearance (somewhat akin to Kangaskhan) while still being tough and intimidating.

……….Nidoqueen has boobs. I couldn’t not point that out. Oh they’re “Plates” uh huh, sure yeah, Wiki. They’re boobs. They’re very clearly boobs. Armored boobs are still boobs.

Nidoqueen Sprites

Gen I looks really good……except Green.

What the hell even is that? It looks like a knockoff plushie of a Nidoqueen.

Gen II, I’m not too fond of Gold because the teeth make it look a little doofy.

Not too fond of Silver either because she looks like she’s calling me over to flirt.

Or maybe flipping me off?

I do like Crystal because, for some reason, the animation reminds me of musical theater.

Gen III is pretty good. I like the roaring animation in Emerald. It’s very fierce.

Gen IV is okay. The animation for HG/SS is also roaring, but I don’t like it as much as Emerald’s.

I really love the animation on Gen V because it looks so natural and real.

The other gens are just okay.

Nidoking Sprites

Gen I’s looks pretty good. LOVE the angle on Yellow.

WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH GREEN!? I was going to make the same plushie joke as I did with Nidoqueen, but that doesn’t fit here. What is that monstrosity!? It’s like a sleep paralysis demon.

Gen II is really good, too. The poses are great, and so is the animation for Crystal even if it’s less intimidating than Nidoqueen’s. I do have to ask why his coloring is so dark in this gen. He’s just straight-up purple.

Gen III is good. The animation for Emerald is quite frightening.

Gen IV is good. Love the dynamic posing. Simple but effective animation on HG/SS.

Gen V, in a static sense, is good, but the animation just makes it look like its out of breath. I think the design was changed just ever so slightly to be a tiny bit slimmer, and I think it works out very well.

Gens VI and VII are fine, but I feel like the color’s a bit washed out and Nidoking’s face looks a tiny bit derpy.

Shinies:

Nidoking has one of the most awesome shinies in the game. Again, it’s a palette swap with the female counterpart, but I love the shade of blue they chose this time. It is a little bright, but it looks great on him. Reminds me of blue raspberry.

…….On the OPPOSITE end of the spectrum, you have whatever this used barf bag is supposed to be.

What happened? Why did they break the tradition of having the shiny version be a palette swap with the counterpart? Why choose, of all colors, that disgusting baby poop green color?

Cry/Voice: I was suspicious about Nidorino having a stock animal sound effect, but I am almost certain Nidoqueen is using one, and I’ve always been definitely sure Nidoking is using one because his roar is one of those roars you hear everywhere for dinosaurs and bears. It fits, but it’s hard to not make that connection.

In terms of the games, Nidoqueen has an extremely suitable cry. It’s lower pitched and gentle – very motherly.

Nidoking’s is like a screech, and while it is better than Nidorino’s, it’s still too high pitched to be truly suitable in my opinion.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Not in a Dex entry, but I had to mention this first.

“Although its female counterpart, Nidoqueen, cannot be bred, Nidoking [and Nidorino] can.”

Look….it’s already insanely stupid and creepy that this species that is basically designed from the ground up to complement each other from a breeding standpoint can’t breed with each other unless they’re the equivalent of children, but what is the sense behind making Nidoqueen unable to breed at all, even with Ditto? This isn’t some gender inequality tangent I’m going on – though that aspect is BS too – I mean the main focus of Nidoqueen…..IS BEING A MOM.

They have developed smaller horns and thicker skin for the sake of protecting their children. The venom in their horns will not excrete when their young is being carried on their backs. They will basically turn themselves into a makeshift wall for the entrance to their den if they’re trying to keep threats away from their children. The Dex literally says they’re at their strongest when they’re protecting their young. What young?! They can’t have young if they can’t breed!

The same thing applies to Nidorina, so unless she evolved while her babies were still young, a good chunk of her Dex entries make as little sense as Nidoqueen’s!

Oh, yeah and, fun fact – The NF line is literally the only evolutionary line that loses the ability to breed upon evolution.

Who the hell was in charge of managing the breeding system in the games, and why hasn’t this glaring issue with this line ever been fixed?

It’s especially weird when we get to the other side of the coin and see that Nidoking’s entries are mostly just talking about how out of control, violent and powerful Nidoking is.

“It uses its powerful tail in battle to smash, constrict, then break the prey’s bones.”

“Its steel-like hide adds to its powerful tackle. Its horns are so hard, they can pierce a diamond.”

“If it binds an enemy, it can snap the victim’s spine quite easily.”

“Once it goes on a rampage, there is no stopping it.”

“One swing of its mighty tail can snap a telephone pole as if it were a matchstick.”

Hardly one getting a tie for Father’s Day.

The one and only Dex entry that has anything to say about it being anything other than a destructive Pokemon who loves to fly off the handle at anything he perceives to be a threat is in Gen VIII when Sword says “When it goes on a rampage, it’s impossible to control. But in the presence of a Nidoqueen it’s lived with for a long time, Nidoking calms down.” Nothing about them being protective of their young or family.

So this one is allowed to breed, with a Ditto anyway, and mother of the year recipient, Nidoqueen, cannot have children at all.

……..Hm…..Wait a second….what if she adopts the kids that Nidoking has with Ditto? Is their line just meant to screw over Nidoqueen/rina so Nidoking/rino can stick his diamond hard horn into sentient flubber? Is Ditto a deadbeat mom? Are they a threesome? Why are you letting my train of thought keep going down this road? Please stop me.

In terms of designs, Nidoqueen and Nidoking have the same inspirations as their pre-evos, but gorillas have been added to the mix this time around – I suppose for the big arms.

Also, don’t buy my ‘Nidoqueen has boobs’ thing? Even the Wiki says her armor plates resemble a two-piece bikini.

…..I honestly wouldn’t agree with that because, what, is it a bikini that doesn’t connect up front and has giant granny panties as a bottom? But, yes….Nido-Boobs.

Next time, we’ll shoot for the moon and tackle the Cle line!


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My Poke-Pinions: 023-024 The Ekans Line

Ekans

Name: Ekans is merely ‘snake’ spelled backwards, which seems kinda lazy, but I actually really like it. Not only is it snappy and memorable, but the ‘s’ at the end makes it sound really snake-like when Ekans says its. Ekanssssssss.

Its Japanese name is Arbo, which is mean to be an anagram of ‘boa’….but I can’t figure out where the r is coming from. And, yes, it is also strange that Arbo is so very close to Arbok but seemingly has no connection. *shrug*

No real fun name facts this time.

Design: Ekan’s design is very simple, it’s pretty much just an average snake design, but they do plenty with it to make it stand out and be pretty cool. First of all, major points for the purple. Considering purple is my favorite color, you’ll probably hear me say that for any Poison type Pokemon, but this shade is particularly nice. I also love how they break it up with bright stripes of yellow. That is very much in keeping with snakes having bright color patterns a lot of the time, and it makes it unique.

I also really like its eyes, and I think it’s kinda adorable that it doesn’t have teeth.

In the realm of sprites, Gen 1 is okay. R/B is awkward because they made Ekans really thin and made its head a bit too big.

Yellow’s is more on-point.

Green’s is—

PBBBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!…HAHAHAHAH! Ow, my ribs hurt! What did they do to you, Ekans? You look like a derpy duck! AHAHAHAHAHA! Who looked at that and thought it was okay for the final product? *sigh* Oh man. I needed that.

*clears throat*

Gen II is fine, but I can’t help but think Crystal’s animation is making him vomit.

Gen III is also fine, but the animation for Emerald is way too goofy. Why are they making him stretch so much?

Gen IV is, again, fine, but they still keep making goofy animations for it. These are the best ones so far, but it’s still just weird. I get that they’re probably going for a biting/lunging motion, but it just looks off.

Gen V is really good. This one is constantly animated and, even though it’s just swaying back and forth, it’s the best animation for it yet.

The rest of the Gens are average looking.

Shiny:

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Ekans shiny has always been and continues to be one of my absolute least favorite shinies. It’s some disgusting combo of urine yellow, puke green and just a hint of brown. I don’t know who approved this shiny design, but ew.

I think Ekans is one of those Pokemon that could’ve made off with a pallet swap shiny. Bright yellow with purple stripes would’ve worked. I don’t much care for most yellow shinies, but it would’ve been a better idea than whatever this is.

Cry/Voice: I love Ekans’ voice, even though, if you hear it for long enough IE, if it has a main role in an episode, like the Island of Giant Pokemon, it gets grating fast. Like I mentioned, though, the ‘s’ at the end makes for a good snake-ish sound when held.

Ekans’ game cry is great. It’s low-pitched and foreboding yet has a rumble to it like a rattle (Rattlesnake!)

Dex Entries and Backstory: We never get an anime Dex entry for Ekans and that rustles my jimmies.

Other than that, its Dex entries are rather basic. It’s literally nothing that doesn’t describe most snakes. It eats bird eggs, it can unhinge its jaw and it doesn’t have any poison (Venom…) when it is first born, so its bites are painful, but harmless.

One entry that did tickle my funny bone was X’s and Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee that explains…..Ekans grows longer as it ages…..

Whoa.

Are you telling me that living beings get bigger as they grow up!? You are the most useful Pokedex in Pokemon history.

In terms of design, Ekans is based off of a boa and a rattlesnake with some ring-necked snake and Indian cobra mixed in. It’s also noted that, due to the signature move of Ekans and Arbok being Glare, that it was also partially based on a basilisk, a mythological serpent that could kill people with its glare.

Arbok

Name: Keeping in the same backwards word theme as Ekans, Arbok is Kobra spelled backwards….What?…..K is cooler than C, alright?

I really like Arbok as a name. It’s even snappier than Ekans, and I love how, in the anime, the inflection on the name when said by the Pokemon sounds just as snake-like as Ekans does on the ‘s.’ They even add a ‘cha’ sound to the start sometimes to make it more audibly snake-like (Akin to the sound of it striking, and in the case of some cobras, spitting!)

Interestingly enough, in the Japanese version, it’s still Arbok….Yup….from Arbo….to Arbok….Top tier name work, Japanese staff.

Also, I still have no interesting name facts here because almost every instance of Arbok outside of English just calls it Arbok…..except Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese….which, for some reason, add the character for ‘freak’ at the end of it….Rude.

Design: I absolutely adore the design of Arbok. It’s simple, yes, and just as basic as Ekans at it’s core, but the added cobra hood, the cool designs on the inside of the hood, the much larger size and really well-designed head make this a fantastic design. And, of course, major points for the purple with the colors on the hood breaking it up.

In terms of sprites, the only note I have about Gen I is the weird addition of stripes to the hood when seen from the back. I have no clue why those were deemed necessary, and I’m glad they got rid of them in subsequent games.

In Gen II, Crystal has a really awesome animation.

Nothing really of note in Gen III onward.

Shiny:

I feel really weird saying this after so many instances of me ragging on similarly colored shinies, but I actually really like Arbok’s shiny. I think this shade of yellow brings about more of a gold/bronze vibe than it does….puke or urine. Plus, I really love the tiny bits of blue in there. It breaks it up just as much as the yellow and red do on the original design, and I adore that shade of blue.

If I had a major criticism there, it’d be that Gen II’s shiny is way off the mark. It’s like a moldy green color mixed with purple.

Cry/Voice: I love Arbok’s voice, and unlike Ekans’ it doesn’t get grating after a while. Like I mentioned in the name section, when spoken, the voice actor makes a sound kinda like a spitting cobra going ‘CHAAABOK!’ It sounds close enough to the actual name to sound Pokemon-ish without just sounding like a dude doing a Pokemon voice.

Its game cry is good and threatening, but there’s no snake-like vibe to it and it sounds a bit too much like a spaceship crashing on an Atari 2600.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Like Ekans, Arbok has never had an in-anime Dex entry, which is bunk (I’m still angry Ash never bothered Dexing Arbok and Weezing when they debuted…) but, at the very least, it got one in the manga, Pokemon Adventures.

Many of Arbok’s Dex entries talk about the markings on its belly, which vary from region to region, and supposedly there are only six confirmed patterns in Gen I, however, this has been updated in Gen VI to 20 patterns……BUT then it goes and contradicts itself. In Ultra Sun, they say they updated the amount to 20, but in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, it reverts back to six.

Believe it or not, they actually make good on this claim – Arbok does indeed have slightly different markings based on the region in which it’s found. That’s pretty cool.

Arbok uses the patterns on its chest/belly to intimidate foes before trying to poison or crush them. Arbok’s crushing ability is so powerful that it can easily crush steel drums, and it’s said you will never get away if it has you in its grasp.

While this isn’t mentioned in the Dex entries, the Wiki page notes that it’s possible for Arbok to regrow any part of its body if its cut off. Noted from the anime, it can detect vibrations and spend a lot of time underwater.

In terms of design, Arbok is based on an Indian Cobra, and the note about the possible connection to a basilisk that Ekans had is included in Arbok’s.

Next up, the prodigal Pokemon itself, Pikachu gets covered as I go over the entire ‘chu line (Pichu included, despite going in numerical order.)


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