When you think about it, Pokémon makes no sense. In the games, you assume the role of a young trainer who wanders the countryside without adult supervision, forcing unsuspecting animals to fight until they are near the point of exhausted collapse. What’s more, rather than let the poor beasts slip into the peaceful arms of oblivion, they are imprisoned for all eternity inside technologically advanced matter-to-energy conversion traps, only to be released when their fiendish masters call upon them to do battle. It’s utterly monstrous.
In reality, the Pokémon franchise is far more fluffy and family friendly than my rather stark explanation would have you believe, of course. Between the video games, the films and TV shows and the wonderfully addictive trading card game*, Pokémon has captured the imagination of millions of fans worldwide, myself included.
Having said that, I have to ask you if you’ve ever stopped to look at some of the Pokémon. I mean, really look at them. Oh sure, Pikachu is cute as a button, Jigglypuff is basically sentient candyfloss and Eevee is frankly so adorable that every time I see one in Pokémon Go I make a noise like a helium filled mouse with his goolies trapped in a tiny vice. Nevertheless, there are a few Pokémon which were quite obviously fashioned by demons and have been visited upon us as some terrible punishment. For example…
Yamask doesn’t look so bad. Yes, he looks like a haunted lighting sconce, carrying a stone which shows either a face or a crudely carved willy, but he’s not exactly terrifying to behold. No, the true horror of Yamask lies in his official Pokédex entry, which reads as follows.
“Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.”
That’s right, Yamask is not only the ghost of a dead person, but a ghost that carries its own face around in whatever passes for its hands. When Yamask cries, it’s because it’s looking down at the ragged remains of its own face and remembering a time when it was a living, breathing human being, instead of some horrifying, otherwordly coat hook.
4) Mr Mime
Look at him. Look into those cold, hateful eyes and know the meaning of fear, kids.
Mr Mime is a Psychic/Fairy type with terrifying powers. His play acting is so convincing that it can cause actual walls and other invisible objects to appear. He messes with your mind to such a degree that you believe wholly in his inventions and then they become real. It’s like the Green Lantern mated with Pennywise the clown.
Not content with being a mind manipulating ne’er-do-well, Mr Mime is also plain violent. In the original Pokémon games, his Pokédex entry says “If interrupted while it is miming, it will slap around the offender with its broad hands.”. Mr Mime will straight up beat the living crap out of anyone that gets between him and an imaginary gust of wind or heavy, invisible suitcase. I vote we trap him in a Master Ball and drop it into the deepest part of the ocean.
Of course Cubone is in this list, how could he not be? If you know anything about Pokémon you’ll know exactly why Cubone made the cut. The skull which Cubone wears as a helmet is in fact the skull of its own mother.
Reading Cubone’s biology**, it gets worse. Cubone is described as the Lonely Pokémon (because no-one wants to chum around with the guy who’s wearing family members as headgear) and it “howls with a particular sadness” at the sight of the full moon, which is apparently a reminder of his mother. I’m not sure why that would be but I have this image of a young Cubone and his mother staring up into the night sky, sharing a tender moment… THEN BAM! Beats her senseless with a bone club, scoops out her innards and polishes up her skull to make a jaunty hat.
I won’t sleep tonight, now, I know I won’t.
At first glance, Gorebyss appears lithe, graceful and beautiful. In fact, the Pokédex entry for Gorebyss in Sapphire says the adorable pink Pokémon is “the very picture of elegance and beauty while swimming”.
If you’re wondering why this sweet looking sea creature made the list, it’s because of the rest of that Pokédex entry, which explains that Gorebyss “is also cruel. When it spots prey, this Pokémon inserts its thin mouth into the prey’s body and drains the prey of its body fluids.”. That’s right, this abomination actually drives its entire mouth into the body of its chosen prey and then sucks it dry, like a parched toddler with a Capri Sun.
What’s worse, there’s no way to stop it. Gorebyss’ Ruby Pokédex entry explains that “its body is built to withstand the enormous pressure of water at incredible depths. Because of this, this Pokémon’s body is unharmed by ordinary attacks.” To put it another way, this horrendous vampire eel cannot be killed by conventional methods.
Bloody hell, at least the name makes sense now. Gore. Abyss. Gorebyss. I’m never going swimming again.
It’s really hard for me to tear into Gengar, because he’s one of my favourite Pokémon. I mean, just look at him. He’s an adorably mischievous looking bundle of purple, what’s not to love? Well as it turns out, Gengar is a living nightmare of a thing with each new Pokédex entry offering a new reason to fear him. Let’s break it down.
In Red and Blue, he sounds mischievous. “Under a full moon, this Pokémon likes to mimic the shadows of people and laugh at their fright.” That’s not so bad, although the bit about laughing at their fright rings a few alarm bells.
Then, in Yellow, he moves from scaring people to hexing them until they glow in the dark. “A Gengar is close by if you feel a sudden chill. It may be trying to lay a curse on you.”
It gets worse. Gengar steals the heat from his surroundings. He attacks people who get lost in the mountains. He steals the life force from its victims when he slips into their shadows. One of the most chilling entries comes from the Black and White era and simply reads “The leer that floats in darkness belongs to a Gengar delighting in casting curses on people.” Read that bit again. You know, “The leer that floats in darkness” bit. Sod that, right?
In Sun and Moon, the most recent releases, Gengar has abandoned all pretense and unveiled his demonic master plan. The Pokédex entry for Sun reads “Should you feel yourself attacked by a sudden chill, it is evidence of an approaching Gengar. There is no escaping it. Give up.” You feel the chill, you die. That’s pretty horrible, but we have to turn to Moon to understand the true horrors of this idiosyncratically adorable little monster.
“It apparently wishes for a traveling companion. Since it was once human itself, it tries to create one by taking the lives of other humans.”
That’s Gengar, folks. The twisted spirit of someone long dead who kills without remorse in hopes of creating another soul as black as its own with which to roam the endless night.
Still, gotta catch ’em all.
*I wanted to collect the cards when I was younger, but I actually started not long after my 33rd birthday. I am not even slightly sorry. Anyway, i’ll be have more TCG related posts coming up in the future, so keep an eye out for that if you’re into Pokémon!
**I got a lot of my info from Bulbapedia, a brilliant site with which I’ve absolutely no affiliation. As always, I share simply because I love.