My bro checked out a book on weapons from his school library, and the sections on Hoplites interested me enough to check out Gallade's inspiration, which I know of but not much:
Gallade is an interesting Pokemon in many ways. In addition to being one of the few split line Pokemon, it was one of the first split line Pokemon to be based on gender, tied with Burmy's two evolutions. It is also the only split evolution line to be an addition after the Pokemon it splits from were introduced. Excluding Eevee, for obvious reasons.
It is also somewhat interesting for what is likely its origin. Rather than the psychic/paper doll origins of its female relatives, it seems to be based on soldiers from the Greco-Roman era. Most obviously, its head bears a striking resemblance to the Roman helmets worn by Gladiators called Murmillo helmets. Murmillo were also a type of Gladiator, named for their helmet. It looked like a sort of fish, according to them. Murmillo, like most Gladiators wore arm guards and wielded short swords. After all, the Romans were the ones who created the gladius hispaniensis, more commonly referred to as the Gladius, which became the first widely used sword. Roman Legionaries used the Gladius as their primary weapon, whereas previous soldiers had used the sword as a secondary weapon, if at all. Murmillo class gladiators also wore arm guards, called vambraces. Gallade's arms may be a combination of that and the sword. Indeed, the word gladiator means swordsman, stemming from the word gladius. And since Gallade is likely a reference to Gladiator, this means that, in a very very roundabout way, Gallade is named after swordsmen. Fitting, considering the amount of blade based moves it can learn.
Another possible inspiration was the Greek Hoplite. Hoplites were citizen soldiers in ancient Greece that served as infantry. The most iconic feature of the Hoplites was the Corinthian Helmet, perhaps the most famous helmet of the ancient world. The Corinthian, named for the city-state Corinth and not the pillar type, features cheek guards that come all the way down to the neck and a nose guard to protect the, well, nose. Horsehair crests were often put on top of the helmet, making it look like the famous Roman Centurion helmet that never actually existed as such. The stylization on Gallade's head vaguely resembles the Corinthian's face, with the green serving as the sides and cheek guards and the light blue as the nose guard. Hoplites used spears as their predominant weapon, however, and were not skilled swordsman, so the helmet is likely the inspiration for Gallade's head and not much more.
There are a few different theories regarding Gallade's name. Most obviously, it is probably a play on gladiator, my opinion on it. Considering two of its relatives, Raltz and Gardevoir, have musical based names, it could also be based on ballade, the French word for ballad. Some of its other foreign names- such as the German Galagladi- outright reference the gladiator aspect. If you're curious, Galagladi is a combination of Galan, meaning worshiper, and gladiator.
Overall, Gallade is an interesting Pokemon for a bunch of reasons, as I spent the past four paragraphs discussing! Its inspiration coming from swordsmen from the Classical World make it that much more appealing to me.
Think that's enough Pokemon for one entry? I certainly do- it's the second largest Pokemon family there is, and I can guarantee it's the largest you'll get out of a single entry.
I'm going to be frank here. Any inspiration for the Pokemon aside for Nidoking is mostly speculation- and Nidoking is only marginally less so. So let's start with the bare basics of the basic Pokemon- the two Nidorans.
This might come as a surprise to some of my less biology centered readers, but there is an actual term for species that have visible differences between genders: Sexual Dimorphism. Simply put, this means that some species have much larger differences between genders than we, as humans, are used. A great example: Male peacocks have large tail feathers they use to attract mates. Female Peahens don't have the plumage. Yep, peacocks are male. Gee, with a name like Peacock, who would have thought.
It's somewhat interesting that they chose to do a Pokemon like this as early as Generation One. It's no secret that the original plans Satoshi Tajiri included differences between genders and even individual Pokemon. Perhaps this was a way to include that. Considering that Nidorino is based on a design from the manga Capsule Monsters, Tajiri's prototype, this is a possiblity. Note that the design from Capsule Monsters really looks nothing like the final Nido family. It's more lizard like than anything.
There is a good-ish amount of evidence to suggest that the base Nidos and perhaps the first stage evolutions are based on rabbits. It's somewhat noticeable in the bases- they have the posture of a rabbit, and the general form. Female Nidorans have whiskers and even twitch their nose according to the Stadium games, similar to a rabbit, male Nidorans have prominent teeth, like a stereotypical drawing of a rabbit, and both have big ol' ears. However, both are odd colors (Purple and blue for male and female; more information on this in a bit.) and just in general don't look like bunnies. I mean, they don't look furry unless you look way to hard at their official art. They appear to have spines, and some Pokedex entries say Nidorina can retract these when they are relaxed. Hedgehogs, animals somewhat similar to rabbits in terms of size and general shape, can relax their spines when they aren't in immediate danger. The rabbit hole, to make an unintentional pun, goes deep, and in this case, you can't be sure if its on purpose or just an optical illusion. (Read: Looking too much into stuff.) Note that the Nido that appears in all of their names is based on needle.
Now, that's just about all we know of the base and the first stage evolutions. On to the final forms! Of all the Nidos, I feel that Nidoking has the most interesting origin. You see, I'm a fan of the Toho Kaiiju films. Godzilla and the like. In the mid 1960s, Toho got the license from Universal to make Frankenstein films in Japan. Rather than go for some sane movie in the style of James Whales' 1931 classic Frankenstein, they chose to make a kaiju film, Frankenstein Conquers the World.. In it, Frankenstein is an enormous monster, yet ultimately benevolent. A subterranean monster named Baragon, rampages through the land and frames Frankenstein. The two end up fighting, of course, and Baragon is swallowed up by the earth. Baragon was a bizaarre looking monster, with giant rabbit ears, a horn in the middle of its forehead and a long tail. Gee, sounds familiar, don't it? While not confirmed, it's been believed for quite some time that Baragon insired Nidoking. It's not as hard to believe as it seems- Baragon appeared in at least three more movies- Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla, Monthra & King Ghidorah: All-Out Monsters Attack and Godzilla: Final Wars. Furthermore, the suit was used in Ultraman several times. It's a well known Kaiju, thought not nearly on the level of, say, Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera or the other big wigs. It's perhaps on the same level as Anguirus, a monster I guarantee we'll see again. Note that Baragon was capable of burrowing underground- not only are the final stage Nidos ground-type whereas their pre-evolutions are poison type, but Nidoking can learn Dig.
Nidoking may be purple because purple has been historically a color linked with royality. See, Tyrian Purple, the dye most often historically used to dye cloth purple, was a difficult die to come by. It came from, of all things, sea snails. Yeah, people actually wanted cloth died with sea snail gunk. OK, that's not exactly fair. The reason it was wanted was because it didn't fade like other dyes- it actually became more vibrant the more it weathered! Purple has been considered a royal color since then. In fact, Nidoking's color is close to Tyrian Purple! This, more than anything else in this article, surprised me.
As for Nidoqueen, it's a female Nidoking. Near as I can tell, there isn't any fancy origin for it.
Post by Johans Nidorino on Jan 1, 2011 14:55:23 GMT -5
An irony one can notice after first entering the Pokémon world is how the females in this group are blue while the males are pink/purple while in the real world, these colors represent genders the other way around. In their shiny colors, this is reversed except for Nidoqueen.
It's apparent that the data structure for Pokémon in the first generation admits gender information, as you can trade forth and back between G/S/C and R/B/Y anytime. But seeing how it was only seen in Nidorans (even including the symbols in their species name), they probably didn't dare to make it explicit for all species.
Looking at these two, it isn't hard to immediately see what they are based on. Drifloon is a balloon and Drifblim, despite its name, is a hot air balloon. The bizarrely dark Pokedex entry for Drifloon tells another story though.
As I do in these, I'll start out with obvoius origins first. And, much to my surprise, I can't find a history of balloons. I mean, this isn't totally surprising- it's such a mudane object, I'm not sure anyone as ever wondered who “invented” them. The closest I can find is that pig bladders, for centuries, were inflated and used for various things, ranging from play in Carnival, to carrying paint. In 1824, the modern rubber balloon was invented by Michael Faraday, who wanted to experiment with hydrogen gas, and needed a container for the gas. Faraday is most famous for inventing the electric motor, a huge achievement for a fellow who also invented what would eventually become a toy. On a small aside, the high school I attended is on a Faraday Street, named after him. It's a street gimmick in my hometown of Alcoa. Rubber toy balloons were mass produced the following year by Thomas Hancock, a rubber inventor, in the form of a DIY kit. You had to make your own rubber with a solution. Long way to go for a balloon, ain't it?
Drifblim is based on a hot air balloon, obviously. Hot air balloons were invented in 1782 by the Montgolfier Brothers, Josheph-Michel and Jaques-Etienne. An untethered flight was made the following year by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes. However, the idea of a hot air balloon predates that by centuries. Millenia, actually. The super smart guys in Ancient China had unmanned hot air balloons/lanterns act as signals in battle. This tactic was used by Zhuge Liang, of the Three Kingdoms. As in, Romance of. These are called Kongming lanterns, by the way. There is also some specuation that the people of Nazca may have used balloons to scout out their iconic lines. But we'll get into those mysterious artifacts some other time, all righty?
Now, with those two histories out of the way, we can approach the interesting aspect of these origins. As I mentioned previously, in the Duskull family entry, there is a folkloric concept called the Psychopomp. The Psychopomp is a spirit guide who takes souls into the afterlife. The most famous of these is the Grim Reaper, a medievel idea that Death takes the form of a cloaked man with a scythe. Greece had Thanatos and Charon; Christianity St. Michael, St. Peter, Azrael (Who pulls double duty for Islam too), and more. But for some reason, many cultures have birds as psychopomps.
Now, I'm not talking about birds that are linked with death, such as vultures or other raptors. No, I'm referring to small birds. Song birds. In fact, various Native American tribes believed that the singing of birds was an omen of death. Whip-poor-wills are a psychopomp is New English folklore. They go as far as to say that they can sense souls leaving and can capture them. HP Lovecraft, bringer of such gooey horrors as (ph'nglui mglw'nafh) Cthullhu (R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!), used whip-poor-wills in his short story “The Dunwich Horror”. Another example of a song bird said to be a psychopomp is the sparrow. Stephen King memorablly used this to horrifying extent in his novel The Dark Half, where I first heard of the concept of Psychopomps. Other birds said to be psychopomps include owls, crows and ravens. These, however, are perhaps a tad more understandable.
I can't say for certain that this is what the two Pokemon are based off of. But the various Pokedex entries for Drifloon make for an interesting case- the Platinium and Black and White entry says that it is called a “sign post for wandering spirits” in folklore. The infamous Pearl Pokedex entry states that they try to steal children away- to the land of the dead, as the Japanese version clarifies. At any rate, this is a Pokemon with an interesting, if possibly unintentional, etymology.
Nester the Lark: I've had similar thoughts the past several months. What do I really use social media for? I don't interact a whole lot, so for me, it's more about getting content. "Less about the social, more about the media" as I like to put it.
Sept 3, 2023 11:05:50 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: On second thought, maybe I should give Bluesky a try. I was actually considering Mastodon as a replacement of X and didn't really think much of Bluesky since posts are viewable by members only, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.
Sept 7, 2023 14:29:50 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: I relate with that and Twitter. I started using it and got addicted to scrolling, retweeting things. Nowadays I come back in short waves, or learning about media like you. Unfortunately it's hard to keep track and Musk doesn't like datascraping.
Sept 11, 2023 6:11:48 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: The other reason I use it is to follow art channels I like, specifically to browse cute art.
Sept 11, 2023 6:12:43 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I have got a Bluesky account. I'll consider actually posting later. And I haven't even used X for at least a month. There are a few X users I'm interested in re-following (in a general sense) if they have accounts elsewhere.
Sept 11, 2023 12:34:01 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: The problem with being completely sucked into Surge Concerto's world is that I can't actually look them up outside of the game, since everything, including some official media, is spoiler. It's the same issue as BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light.
Sept 11, 2023 12:37:04 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: Cool ^^ Sorry to hear that Hope you have fun with the games until you don't have to avoid the spoilers.
Sept 11, 2023 18:02:45 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: I've been fed up with online editors and software which claims to be free but isn't. -_- I've usually joined an image with audio w/Avidemux which actually is open source. Now I just use FFMPEG to do same for less clicking. I'm satisfied this way though. ^^
Sept 11, 2023 19:15:16 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: I think microblogging sounds nice too. I might try it myself one day. ^^ Twitter/X's character limit is restricting, as is the organisation/discovery of tweets. Don't worry about audience, it isn't important tho if u want one I'm sure will get1 eventually.
Sept 11, 2023 19:19:44 GMT -5
Evie ❤✿: Funnily enough there is a recent Hatsune Miku/Pokémon collab called Pokémon feat. Hatsune Miku Project Voltage 18 Types 18 Songs where it imagines if Hatsune Miku was a Pokémon Trainer and what Pokémon she'd use.
Sept 11, 2023 19:23:20 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Sony has announced a State of Play for tomorrow after the Direct. Didn't they do this last September, also? EDIT: Yes, they did.
Sept 13, 2023 16:04:08 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Not a bad Direct. I'll post my impressions later.
Sept 14, 2023 9:45:28 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: So, I still don't know if NST had anything to do with Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Switch, but plot twist! They *did* develop F-Zero 99.
Sept 14, 2023 14:11:37 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: About a quarter done in Ciel nosurge DX (1/3 story, about 1/5 items). Absolutely love the story, but the gameplay is pretty bad. Wouldn't have liked it at all in its original online, real-time-only form.
Sept 15, 2023 14:35:58 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Apparently, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 won the Award of Excellence at TGS.
Sept 21, 2023 11:33:28 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: This is unexpected. His name is almost synonymous with the studio.
Sept 25, 2023 10:46:37 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Surge Concerto (and the overall Ar Tonelico series, from what I know) has deep lore and unfathomable dark stories on top of rather shallow gameplay. It's in some ways a far more extreme version of the BLUE REFLECTION series.
Sept 26, 2023 14:08:41 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Game design similarities aside, I'm surprised that the same developer behind Atelier can make something like this. Not exactly my cup of tea, but that's an extra layer of appreciation I have for them.
Sept 26, 2023 14:09:54 GMT -5