We've talked about the messed up realities of Pokemon many times before, so it should be no surprise to see that Pokemon Sun and Moon have equally depraved Pokedex entries. Still, it's kind of remarkable that Nintendo and Game Freak have continued to ensure that a handful these charming characters have depressing and/or terrifying backstories. We haven't seen the full roster for the upcoming game quite yet, but there's already a good deal of disturbing descriptions up on Nintendo's website. Here are some of the most upsetting snippets that we found:
1. Bounsweet is so lovable that its life is a living hell
A berry-shaped Pokemon already exists, but if we've got slots for a dozen different cat Pokemon, we can make room for Bounsweet. Likely based on an actual fruit called the purple mangosteen, Bounsweet is probably one of the cutest new Pokemon revealed for Sun and Moon so far. Its description starts out pretty adorable, too:
Because it exudes a delicious smell from its entire body, Bounsweet is popular with Pokémon and people of the Alola region. Bounsweet's scent has a calming effect on humans, so many people let them live inside their homes as a sort of air freshener.
Sounds pretty got-danged delightful, right? This friendly, super-chill fruit sprite just hangs out in your house and makes everything smell better. It's a swell deal for everyone involved.
The terrible part:
Turns out there's such a thing as being too lovable. From the looks of it, many Bounsweets have had to learn this the hard way.
Unfortunately, it's sometimes swallowed whole by Pokémon drawn to its aroma.
That's right, Bounsweet gets eaten alive because of its natural attractive scent. Not only chewed up, either -- these Bounsweets are "swallowed whole," so they don't get the benefit of a quick death. Instead, they probably slide down the esophogus and either asyphnxiate slowly or watch their own bodies dissolve in the stomach acid. Whereas most Pokemon (and you know, real-life animals) boast built-in defense mechanisms, Bounsweets are essentially born with a severe disadvantage.
It gets worse. You'd think that any friendly humans nearby would want to help out a potenial air freshener/roommate in need, but that's not the case.
When running away from other Pokémon, Bounsweet flees danger by skipping along the ground. Since its bouncy movements don't convey to others that it's actually in desperate flight, no one ever comes to its aid.
People of the Pokemon world don't even realize it when they see a Bounsweet in peril -- though it might look like it's bounding along the road and having a great time, it's probably screaming bloody murder while being pursued by a predator who thinks it's too delicious not to eat. I don't want to ask something as contrived as "Who is the real monster here?" but, well...
2. Mimikyu will do anything to be loved
Of all the Pokemon on this list, Mimikyu is likely the most recognizable. A lot of that has to do with how much it looks like a Garbador dressing up as Pikachu for Halloween, but we'll explore that in a minute. But first we have to stress that what you're seeing is not exactly what you're getting.
Mimikyu lives its life completely covered by its cloth and is always hidden. People believe that anybody who sees its true form beneath the cloth will be stricken with a mysterious illness. People in the Alola region are convinced that you must never try to peek beneath its covering.
Basically, we have to remember that under the odd dollar-store disguise is an actual Pokemon. You can even see its real eye holes near the bottom.
The terrible part:
From the description above, it's clear that the locals in Alola believe Mimikyu to be cursed. They don't want to be near it probably in fear that they might see what's underneath its covering. But Mimikyus aren't so bad. They want to be loved, like anyone else. And they'll go to drastic measures to achieve that goal.
The rising popularity of Pikachu-styled merchandise around 20 years ago is the reason that Mimikyu makes itself look like Pikachu. In fact, this Pokémon is dreadfully lonely, and it thought it would be able to make friends with humans if only it looked like Pikachu.
We did this. As Pokemon fans, we put way too much emphasis on Pikachu at the expense of other Pokemon. Mimikyus everywhere woke up one morning and said "Fine, if they need a cute yellow rat, that's what I'll give them!" Though the burlap sack motif makes them look a bit more like the Other Mother from Coraline than an actual Pokemon, it's the thought that counts. It's just depressing that it came to this in the first place.
3. Sandalits everywhere should be in jail
Unlike the adorable rock puppies and bowtie-sporting owls that have made up most of the Sun and Moon cast thus far, Salandit seems like kind of an asshole. It's not enough that the Fire/Poison-type Pokemon always wears knowing sneer, as though they just put sugar in your gas tank -- Sandalits also have a unique ability that allows them to poison any Pokemon. This is kind of a big deal. Before now, Poison and Steel-type Pokemon were immune to Poison-type attacks, but this crafty little bastard is capable of circumventing what was once ironclad Battle Law. How's it feel, every Zubat who ever lived?
The terrible part:
While it might be nice to have a Sandalit on your side, being on the same team might not be your choice.
Salandit females not only release toxic gases, they can also emit pheromones that attract males of all species, including Pokémon and humans. Inhaling these pheromones may cause opponents to be controlled by Salandit's will.
Uh... what? If I'm reading this right, female Salandits are capable of using pheremones to attract human males and psychically enslave them. Nintendo has essentially created a sex bandit Pokemon who actively seduces grown men and bends them to their whim. Come to think, that sounds a lot like what Pokemon games do to adults in real life.
4. Crabrawler has disturbing implications
Of one of the most recent batches of Pokemon reveals, Crabrawler is definitely one of the most appealing. Yes, crustacean and boxing-types already exist, but combining them to resemble a real-life coconut crab (with a black eye) works pretty well.
Crabrawler has a personality that really hates to lose, and it's driven not only to aim for a higher position than its fellows in terms of social standing, but literally to aim for a higher position in the landscape. Perhaps as a result, it's sometimes found clinging to tall people or to the walls of buildings! If you try to remove one against its will, you'll be met with a sound punch.
All in all, a pretty solid addition to the Pokemon ranks. There's just one problem.
The Terrible Part:
The official description is pretty standard... until we get to the last line.
Crabrawler's pincers are sometimes torn off during its bouts--and they are said to be delicious.
Wow. There's a lot going on here. First off, Crabrawler's pincers can be torn off. This does happen in nature to actual crabs, but Pokemon are different -- there's something much more horrifying about the image of a cute video game animal wandering around with a limb missing, like a cartoon version of the Normandy scene in Saving Private Ryan.
The limbs "are said to be delicious," presumably by humans who have taken to picking up stray Pokemon appendages on the ground and devouring them. Hell, the author is acting like they "heard about" the taste of Crabrawler's pincers, the same way someone would ask a doctor about a scrotal rash "for a friend." Either people of Alola stalk beaches waiting for Crabrawler to shed an extremity, or this is just a roundabout way of saying that people eat these Pokemon like they do Basculin. Okay fine, I'll say it. We are the real monsters here.
5. Pyukumuku is dangerously dumb
This isn't the most popular recent Pokemon, and it isn't hard to see why. Pyukumuku looks like a Hot Topic employee drew a crude sphincter on a baby-goth dish scrubber. At least it's got a neat gimmick.
Pyukumuku hate to have their spikes and mouths touched, and if you step on one, it will hurl out its fist-like inner organs to strike at you.
It's more or less the same defense mechanism as a sea cucumber, but instead of pale death noodles it has a Green Lantern-like hand.
The terrible part:
Pyukumuku doesn't have a big fanbase in-game, either. In fact, Alola residents kind of hate the things.
Due to their appearance and their lifestyle, Pyukumuku are considered unappealing to tourists. Part-time work chucking Pyukumuku back into the sea is available at tourist beaches. But no matter how far they're thrown, Pyukumuku will always return to the same spot.
People despise Pyukumuku so much that they literally pay to get rid of them -- just because they happen to resemble those weird spiky vibrators at the back of adult shops. You might think it's cruel to toss them off the beach, but humans are actually doing Pyukumuku a favor.
Once a Pyukumuku finds a place it likes, it won't budge from it. If someone moves it away, back it comes to the same spot. If it runs out of food to eat in that spot, it'll stay there--and starve. The people of Alola found this so pitiful that they developed a tradition of chucking Pyukumuku back into the food-rich sea whenever they come across any thin-bellied Pyukumuku.
These little dinguses are so god damned stubborn that they won't move from their spot, even if it means killing themselves. Tossing Pyukumuku into the water is definitely an act of vanity on the part of humans, to be sure; but it's also an act of mercy for an animal so stupid that it kind of deserves to die.
I guess everyone is a monster. But we saved the worst for last.
6 & 7. Sandygast and Palossand are evil incarnate
A "haunted sandcastle" isn't the worst idea for a Pokemon in a series with living ice cream cones, but trust us, these abominations have no redeeming qualities.
Every part of them is terrible:
Let's just get right down to it. Sandygast and its evolution, Palossand, are complete horror shows shaped like a childhood memory.
The tunnel-like mouth of a Sandygast can suck the vitality from people and Pokémon. Apparently it's a test of courage in the Alola region to put your hand in a Sandygast's mouth.
An artist once set up a hole for people to stick their arms into, and he'd give them a random tattoo that they couldn't see until they were inked for the rest of their lives; that mystery hole is safer than the gaping maw of a Sandygast. Shit, at this point sticking your dick in a glory hole made of shattered glass is preferable to putting any part of your body into that thing. I'll fail the Alolan test of courage and keep my pants dry, thanks.
But that's not even close to the most awful thing about these clods.
If you heedlessly grab a Sandygast's shovel, you'll fall under the Pokémon's control. A Sandygast uses its power to manipulate children into gathering sand to increase the size of its body.
Children naturally want to play around with sand castles -- it's a kid instinct, like peeing in the pool or saying "I don't know" when you're in trouble. But any youngster unlucky enough to grab Sandygast's shovel will be immediately recruited into an army of slaves whose only goal is to make the Sandygast more powerful. Commanding animals to fight each other for fun and profit and one thing, but child labor is beyond the pale.
Eventually that Sandygast is going to become a Palossand, and nobody wants that.
Palossand controls human adults, making them build a sand castle that provides camouflage and also raises its defensive abilities.
Not even full-grown adults are safe from forced servitude under the reign of tyrannical ghost dirt.
But that's just what Palossand does to humans. What it subjects Pokemon to is even more ghastly.
Palossand loves the vitality of Pokémon and drags small Pokémon into its body so it can steal their life force. Its sandy vortex swallows them up in a heartbeat! Pokémon dragged into Palossand leave traces of their ill will behind. It's thought that this negative energy may be the starting point of new Sandygast...
In case your mental image wasn't traumatic enough, Nintendo actually hired an artist to depict a Palossand eating the soul of its prey.
There we have it. An official illustration of Pikachu, Pokemon's star mascot, being murdered in cold blood by a haunted sandcastle. Deviantart can officially take the day off.
Tristan Cooper can be found cowering on Twitter.