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The Pokédex is bullshit and I have the dead Pokémon to prove it

Something fishy is going on here

A fossil Pokemon in Sword and Shield Game Freak via Polygon

It’s tradition for all mainline Pokémon games to let you find a fossil of a previously extinct monster, only to let you revive the dinosaur-era creature. Sword and Shield appear to be no different ... until you actually bring your poor fossil to life. That’s when you realize that the world of Pokémon doesn’t actually have the crucial practice known as peer-reviewed science.

This time around, you have to find two separate fossil pieces, which the professor on route 6 will combine to make what are, frankly, total abominations. There are four possible results: Dracozolt, Arctozolt, Dracovish, and Arctovish. Each one looks like you’re mashing together two totally different creatures which shouldn’t be whole, which makes sense, because that’s exactly what you’ve done. Every fossil Pokémon looks like they are in pain — which they probably are, because they aren’t supposed to exist like this.

What’s particularly funny (or horrible) about all of this is that, if you look at the Pokédex entries for these Frankenstein’s Pokémon, the game acts as if the creatures were supposed to look like this. Actually, the Pokédex seems to make up a justification for how the mishmashes might have lived during ancient times. Dracozolt’s entry, for example, states:

In ancient times, it was unbeatable thanks to its powerful lower body, but it went extinct anyway after it depleted all its plant-based food sources.

The powerful muscles in its tail generate its electricity. Compared to its lower body, its upper half is entirely too small.

Here’s the thing, though: Any rational human being can look at the monster that is Dracozolt, pictured above, and conclude that the top half and the bottom half literally do not go together. Not in a “this evolutionary branch was doomed to die” sort of way, mind you. I mean literally. The only reason the tiny top half and the enormous bottom half are roaming around together is because science forced them to exist that way.

And yet, the Pokédex entries for all the fossil Pokemon try to find justifications for their respective creatures.

A fossil Pokemon in Sword and Shield. Game Freak via Polygon

Dracovish, pictured above, has a particularly hilarious entry because it both comes up with an extinction justification while admitting that the monster is a paradox.

Powerful legs and jaws made it the apex predator of its time. Its own overhunting of its prey was what drove it to extinction.

Its mighty legs are capable of running at speeds exceeding 40 mph, but this Pokémon can’t breathe unless it’s underwater.

You’re telling me this monster was running around at high speeds on land ... where it can’t breathe? Sure, OK.

A fossil Pokemon in Sword and Shield. Game Freak via Polygon

Another Pokédex would have us believe that Arctozolt, pictured above, was once totally a real creature that went extinct because it “moved too slow.” Oh, and it just somehow happens to have the same exact head Dracozolt. Yup!

A fossil Pokemon. Game Freak via Polygon.

Meanwhile, Arctovish, which you can see above, supposedly went kaput because it has a hard time eating. Its mouth is on top of its head, you see. Sure seems like a weird place for a creature to have an orifice given the orientation of the rest of the body. Unless, of course, it’s not supposed to exist like this. It’s probably no surprise that the Pokédex entry says poor Arctovish has “breathing difficulties.” What hath science wrought? Nothing more than pain and misery in a game largely meant for children!

The whole thing seems to be an elaborate joke about a real-world fossil phenomenon, and in this respect, England — the region which Sword and Shield seem to draw inspiration — is particularly notorious. The infamous Piltdown Man, for instance, had archaeologist Charles Dawson trying to pass off an assortment of remains from different sources as an ancient human. Piltdown Man was supposed to be the missing link between humans and apes. Piltdown Man is also not real. Dawson allegedly combined the remains of orangutans and humans in an attempt to pass it off as an actual creature, only for the whole thing to get outed as a fraud. I can only imagine what Piltdown Man would have looked like if we had the technology to bring it back to life, as Pokémon does.

Here’s the thing, though: The Pokédex is supposed to be the authority on Pokémon for the rest of the world. And here we have proof that it’s clearly just making shit up. What else have we taken as fact from the Pokédex which may not be true? Can we trust it at all?

Think about it. The main source of information for all Pokédex entries are essentially 10-year-olds out on adventures, led by “professors” who, despite years of study, seem strangely clueless about the subject they’re supposed to be experts in. I’m never going to look at the Pokédex the same after Sword and Shield.

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