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[Pokémon] Coriolanus Rowland's Guide to Pokémon Husbandry


Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    I'm not entirely sure if this qualifies as fanfiction, but it does fall into a fandom and it is fiction, so I'm going to post it here. It's not really a narrative, but it is sort of interesting, and possibly funny. It might even have a little story to tell, if you care to look. I'm not even certain how to rate it, but I'll have a stab at it and say PG-13 at a guess. (You know, because of my habit of suddenly putting something really dark and/or violent in these things, without warning and for no real reason.)

    This is not to say I'm being distracted from The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World; that will continue to have regular updates, while this will be more sporadic.

    Coriolanus Rowland's Guide to Pokémon Husbandry


    Pokémon: our collective imagination has always been obsessed with them. Trainers catch them, scientists study them; they're at work in the military, in cities, police forces, kitchens. In short, they're everywhere.

    So the question remains: why don't you have one?

    Perhaps you have heard that they are too big or too messy, too much hard work or two dangerous. Perhaps you think they're worryingly smart and might mess with your mind. I can tell you that that simply isn't true – or at least, not for all species. There are dangerous ones, sure – I'm can't recommend a Krookodile for your apartment – but there are definitely species out there to suit every person, every pocket and every need. Looking to improve home security? Just pick yourself up an Arcanine. Feeling lonely? Cubone will cry with you, all night long. Need a new family pet? Look no further than Linoone.

    Of course, that's not to restrict Pokémon ownership to the home. If you're looking to break into the competetive battling scene, there's a Pokémon for you. If your inner-city police force is stretched to its limits, there's a Pokémon for you. If you desperately need to boost profits at your farm – yes, that's right, there's a Pokémon for you. And I'm just the man to help you: there isn't a beast out there that Coriolanus Rowland hasn't poked with a stick at least once. I've been a Trainer, a huntsman, a circus performer, a cop, a crook, a dirty cop and a Trainer again, and that's just the start of it; I might not be a Professor, and I might not be named after a tree, but I know my stuff, and if you're reading this then you're already three steps ahead of the game. (And if you buy it, you'll be four steps ahead.)

    So here it is: the collected wisdom of fifty-four years walking the earth with Pokémon. I have included sections for the homeowner, the wannabe Trainer, security and military work, farmers, zoos – everyone who could ever need a Pokémon need only look beyond this introduction to find the one they require. All you need to do is read on.


    Chapter One: Pokémon for Beginners

    So, you've decided to get yourself a Pokémon. Congratulations. But then you start looking through the catalogue, and you see there are more to choose from than you thought. You look a little further, and then you realise there are almost 650 different ones. How, one might ask, are you going to choose one species out of all of those?

    A typical reaction is to pick one that will show the neighbours up, or impress your friends. That's why you hear about people having hands cut off by Empoleon, or getting sick from Ariados poison. As I write this, I can see in the newspaper that a man in Croydon has been eaten by his own pet Luxray. Their problem is that they didn't read this book, and so didn't learn that if you reach right away for the big beasts, you're heading for tragedy more surely than Ridley Buxley, the man who so famously challenged a Machamp to a wrestling match in 1991.

    The trick is starting small. You have to learn your limits, and work out ways of dealing with Pokémon. Remember, they're more than regular animals. To all intents and purposes, they have super powers, and if you can bear that in mind at all times, you'll be on the right track. A little animal with super powers is much less dangerous than a big one, and why I've suggested these four as a good starting point for anyone who wants to get into the Pokémon-keeping business: Eevee, Rattata, Ledian and Emolga.

    Starting off with any of these Pokémon will be excellent preparation for later, greater things. Those with experience with Eevee might easily move on to the more challenging Zorua or even – provided you get the licence – Ninetales; if you succeed with Rattata, you'll know how to stop Aron or Bibarel from gnawing your house into nonexistence. Ledian is a gateway into the challenging world of giant predatory insects, paving the way for such icons as Heracross and Scyther; Emolga, combining as it does the erratic danger of an Electric-type with the need for fresh air and space common to Flying-types, serves well as an introduction to further keeping in either of those areas.

    So, without further ado, here is the very first entry in what will doubtless become one of your most invaluable books.



    Eevee (Mutivulpes johnsonii) is perhaps one of the best known Pokémon pets, and why shouldn't it be? Fluffy, easily house-trained and blessed with a tremendous capacity to enjoy being hugged, it is one of the great icons of Pokémon keeping. Furthermore, it is unlikely to evolve spontaneously – always a bonus – and thanks to its supremely adaptable nature, can easily cope with most situations.

    Superficially, it resembles a fox, a group of canids to which it is related – but it shares with the domestic dog its loyalty and love of play. Eevee are among the most playful of Pokémon, ever-ready to spend an hour or two romping around in a meadow, or splashing in a river. Children love it, and Eevee loves them back: most specimens have an exuberant nature and will lick and climb over humans as much as humans pet or play with them.

    What, then, makes Eevee different from a dog? Firstly, it has some potential for use in Pokémon battling; if yours is a family that wants to produce Trainers, an Eevee in the household can also function as a practice Pokémon for children and adults alike. Secondly, it has a very specific diet, covered in more detail elsewhere in this entry. Finally, and most importantly, it has an unusual habit of seeking out any source of radiation and going to sleep on it.

    This third habit is the one to watch out for: since Eevee in the wild can only reach maturity with the radiation emitted from so-called evolutionary stones, they have developed the ability to detect abnormal radiation, and a subsequent attraction to it. This is very useful if you live in an area frequently bombarded by Solrock's gamma rays, or near a poorly-insulated nuclear reactor, as you can simply position yourself in places your Eevee doesn't like going to, but otherwise it's something of a nuisance. More than one Eevee has managed to microwave itself to death in the past; countless others have wandered free of their homes, following the elusive scent of radioactivity, and been run over. If you want your Eevee to truly prosper, keep the television and the microwave firmly out of reach (perhaps atop blocks of ice; Eevee find this difficult to climb), and keep a tight leash on it when outside the house.

    Diet: Eevee is, despite appearances, wholly insectivorous, which can often present the unwary buyer with a problem. The usual solution is mealworms and crickets (or Caterpie, if you have the funds), but a few specimens can be weaned onto dog food.

    Housing: In the home, like a dog – but make sure to keep all televisions, microwaves and the like out of Eevee's reach.

    Size: Generally not more than nine inches at the shoulder, though some specimens have been recorded at up to a foot.

    Lifespan: Without evolving, Eevee can only live for five to seven years – just long enough, if you time the acquisition right, to last a child through their formative years.

    Evolution: Not recommended. The 'Eeveelutions' are all rather larger and more brutal than Eevee, in much the same way as a wolf is larger and more brutal than a dog. If you really must, though, the process requires evolutionary stones, which can be acquired cheaply through certain criminal organisations.

    Breeding: Easily bred; Eevee are as playful with each other as with humans, and if a male is introduced to the female while she is in season, there is every chance that she will come away pregnant. Eevee, as mammals so often do, give birth to live young; the gestation period is around sixty days, and after that a litter of four to six pups will be born. It is best not to remove them from the mother until they are three weeks old, because otherwise the mother is often afflicted with a terrible fit of depression, and commits suicide at the first opportunity.

    Acquisition: Eevee are cheap, and freely available from the usual chain of Pokémon Marts, though the prime specimens come from the Kanto-based EeveeWorld store. You can pick up extremely cheap ones in the markets in the Sevii Islands, though on at least one occasion the animals they were selling turned out to be foxes or even bear cubs.



    Known for centuries as the only pest more invasive than the brown rat, Rattata (Rattus rattatus) has recently come into fashion as a pet. Tame forms are available in a variety of colours, from the humdrum purple to the rare and exciting brown, and are well-suited to the beginner.

    Contrary to popular belief, Rattata are very clean animals, and spend at least a quarter of their waking hours grooming themselves. In some specimens, this can lead to a form of obsessive-compulsive cleaning disorder, in which case they will most likely groom themselves until they bleed; the usual answer to this problem is to kill them, since they don't live long and are easily replaced.

    Like regular rats, Rattata must gnaw to keep their continually-growing teeth in check; unlike regular rats, Rattata are Pokémon, and so can gnaw through glass, plate iron and people with slightly disturbing ease. The solution is simple: keep your Rattata in a Barrier-infused cage. These are available at most Pokémon Marts and combine the utility of a cage with the strength of a Mr. Mime's Barrier – and, most importantly, can contain a Rattata.

    Some Rattata like to be played with and petted; most, however, don't, though they will tolerate being picked up unless they are particularly antisocial. However, it is no misfortune to come across such a misanthropic specimen, since they are cheap enough to replace on a whim. Once in a while, you will hear a story about a Rattata that enjoys being put in a larger version of a hamster ball, but do not be tempted into purchasing one for yourself – chances are that your Rattata regards anything beyond food, gnawing and procreation as entirely irrelevant, an attitude it shares with more than a few members of the human species.

    Overall, Rattata are rather dull creatures – but they do, it must be noted, make good partners for bank robbers, who often find their ability to gnaw their way into safes rather useful. I can personally attest to the fact that it does simplify proceedings considerably.

    Diet: Rattata have rather catholic tastes in food, and will happily eat anything put in front of them, whether animal, vegetable or mineral. However, not everything they devour will be good for them; use common sense and give them nuts, insects and fruit. Perhaps a biscuit or live baby bird would be a good treat.

    Housing: As I have stated above, a Barrier-reinforced cage is imperative. These come in various grades, from G to A; A-grade cages are designed to asborb Hyper Beams, and so are capable of withstanding a direct hit from a tank cannon. For Rattata, you need only an F-grade.

    Size: You will often see them advertised as a foot long, but in actuality you would be hard-pressed to find a Rattata measuring more than seven inches.

    Lifespan: Mercifully short; your pet will perish after a year or two, clearing the way for something more productive, useful and loveable. If, for some reason, you really cannot bear the thought of life without your rat, you might wish to consider evolution or breeding.

    Evolution: Some battling experience is necessary, but not much. The sort of friendly match one might have against one's neighbour should suffice, and then your small, pugnacious rat dwill become a large, vicious one. I cannot recommend Raticate as a pet for anyone, but like anything that is in supremely bad taste, it has a small hard core of adoring followers.

    Breeding: The problem is not getting them to breed, but getting them to stop; all you need to do is set up a pair and leave them to it.

    Acquisition: If you are on a budget, leaving a trap in your local park will probably net you one or two; otherwise, I would recommend a specialist breeder for the full variety of Rattata types. The best Rattata come from the pedigree breeders in France, but I sincerely doubt that you can even bring yourself to care about them.



    With Ledian (Coelocephalus rufus) we come to the first evolved Pokémon of this book, and one of the more challenging Pokémon in this section. You might well wonder if you are up to the task, but I assure you that you are: Ledian are the red-headed stepchild of the Bug Pokémon world, lacking the primal savagery made typical of their type by such famous Pokémon as Pinsir and Drapion.

    Ledian resembles nothing so much as an overgrown ladybird, but they are only distantly related: ladybirds are highly carnivorous and a respectable garden predator, but Ledian get their food from photosynthesis. This is highly unusual, even for a Pokémon, and is the reason why Ledian is in a whole taxonomic kingdom of its own, excepting its pre-evolution, Ledyba. Not only does it photosynthesise, but it only does so in response to starlight; the circular marks on its back are the photosynthetic organs, and these swell in response to the number of stars visible.

    It used to be that Ledian were the preserve of country folk, who live in areas where the night sky is not affected by light pollution, but science has, as in so many areas, provided us with a way around the problems posed by this unusual method of self-nutrition. Lamps that mimic starlight are now available from all Pokémon Marts and several of the big-name supermarkets. All one need do is leave one's Ledian to sleep underneath one.

    Ledian themselves are mostly nocturnal, but can be trained to sleep through the night and become active during the day. For Bugs, they are reasonably intelligent, and can be taught a few tricks; with their four arms, most of them can manage three-ball juggling, and they are quite good at precision-flying competitions – though if competitive flight is your game, then you may wish to consider a Golbat or even an Aerodactyl, the latter of which is covered elsewhere in this book.

    It should be noted that Ledian do need a great deal of exercise to be truly happy, so unless you are prepared to take it flying every few days or live in a manor, it probably is not the Pokémon for you.

    Perhaps because of its unique and inefficient feeding method, Ledian is prone to many diseases, not least membranous scabies and pneumonia. It is recommended that you make regular appointments with a qualified Poké-veterinarian, in order to nip any potential illnesses in the bud.

    Diet: Like poets, lovers and the melodramatically-inclined, Ledian can live on starlight alone.

    Housing: Ledian can be kept inside and house-trained, though if it becomes too excited, it will most likely defecate on anything and everything it can find. However, they are best left outdoors, where they can fly to their hearts' content; just beware of foxes, hawks, Pidgeot, Swellow, dogs, cats, Golbat, Fearow, owls and badgers, all of which will make short work of your beloved pet.

    Size: At four feet tall, Ledian are approaching the sort of size the layman associates with a Pokémon; unfortunately, its size does nothing to deter predators.

    Lifespan: The most long-lived of the Pokémon outlined in this first chapter, a Ledian can easily reach twelve years of age, and often fourteen.

    Evolution: Unless you have a very large amount of private land, never purchase an unevolved Ledyba. One might think that it would be easier to take care of than its adult form – it does not require such intensive exercise – but Ledyba is extremely gregarious, and will pine away and die if kept in groups of less than one hundred. The financial cost of feeding this number of Pokémon is more than enough to drive most owners to bankruptcy (though they do make agreeable background scenery in safari parks).

    Breeding: Best left to the specialist breeders, but fairly easy to accomplish: Ledian, like a great many Bug Pokémon, are brought into the mood with rain; you can simulate this with a steam room or sauna. If all goes well, a foot-long egg sac will result, and this will hatch into approximately two hundred Ledyba. You will also find that both parent Ledian have died, their corpses going to provide their new-hatched children with a head start in the world.

    Acquisition: Ledian are not the easiest of Pokémon to get hold of. Strict environmental laws in their native Johto means that only three can be removed from Ilex Forest each year, though there are a couple of specialist breeders in Azalea; otherwise, try the Spanish markets, where the other, orange species of Ledian is to be found.



    Noted throughout Northern Europe for being the only member of the gliding squirrel to be capable of powered flight, Emolga (Flavamys fulguratus) is the place to start if you are desirous of getting into the Electric- or Flying-type fields. Most people naturally gravitate towards Pikachu as a starting Electric-type, but I have lost count of the times they have electrocuted their owners to death; they are slow-witted, distrustful and quick to anger, and I caution the wary keeper to stay away from them. Regrettably, they are also extremely cute, and so continue to be a major cause of death and injury throughout the civilised world.

    Emolga, on the other hand, is a genuine delight: easily tamed, happy to ride around on a head or a shoulder, and fed without difficulty. It displays remarkable affection for its owners, and delights in games of chase or catch-as-catch-can; care must be taken when it is your turn to catch Emolga, for squeezing it too hard may well kill it. Far better to let it do the chasing.

    Unlike any other flying squirrel, Emolga, possessing the power to generate electrical energy from its cheeks, electrifies the muscles of its arms hundreds of times a second while in the air; the resulting rapid flexing of the wing membranes means that it can do more than glide: it can achieve true flight. It is not the most elegant flier, or by any means the strongest – but this, far from being a drawback, is perfect for someone learning to live with Flying-types. An adult human in good health can catch a flying Emolga quite easily with the aid of a long-handled net – an achievement that is far harder to replicate with a Pidgeotto, or even a simple Spearow.

    Even if you are not considering further exploration in the fascinating fields of Electric and Flying Pokémon, I thoroughly recommend Emolga. It can remember those faces it sees most often, and will naturally gravitate towards them, wanting nothing more than to be petted. Here we reach the best part: stroking your Emolga will send it into a deep trance of delight, in which it will shiver, purr, cheep and occasionally emit a burst of lightning. (It is wise to wear insulating gloves when planning an extended stroking session.)

    As a child, I myself had an Emolga, which was for reasons unknown named Charles; in fact, had it not been for Charles, I doubt I would ever have chosen to dedicate my life to Pokémon, or met my wife. But this is not a book about me, it is about Pokémon, and so I shall return to Emolga.

    Diet: The generation of such vast quantities of internal eletricity as Emolga creates requires a vast amount of energy, and so Emolga needs food in large quantities. Insects – crickets and Sewaddle – are the basic blocks of its diet, but it also likes fruit and eggs; a lizard or snake might prove a welcome treat.

    Housing: A flat tray with food and water, about six feet from the floor, serves your Emolga as a base in the home; otherwise, it is easily housetrained, and can have the run of the house. You may wish to have the doorways in your house widened, and invest in doorstops to place throughout the building, to minimise crashes. Inside, Emolga rarely flies fast enough to cause significant injury when it hits a wall, but it does struggle to get back in the air again unless it can find a hatstand or something similar to climb up.

    Size: At fourteen to sixteen inches in length, Emolga are right at the upper limit for size in terms of flying creatures that can be kept indoors.

    Lifespan: Between eight and ten years, though one was recorded at twelve.

    Evolution: Emolga do not evolve.

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Breeding: Not difficult, but once Emolga has rejected a mate it will never consider them again. Try a variety of partners for best results.

    Acquisition: Emolga are fairly common throughout Northern Europe and its near neighbour, Unova, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively from Pokémon Marts throughout the continent.
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  • 29
    • Seen Dec 2, 2016

    Eevee (Mutivulpes johnsonii) is perhaps one of the best known Pokémon pets, and why shouldn't it be? Fluffy, easily house-trained and blessed with a tremendous capacity to enjoy being hugged, it is one of the great icons of Pokémon keeping. Furthermore, it is unlikely to evolve spontaneously – always a bonus – and thanks to its supremely adaptable nature, can easily cope with most situations.

    Superficially, it resembles a fox, a group of canids to which it is related – but it shares with the domestic dog its loyalty and love of play. Eevee are among the most playful of Pokémon, ever-ready to spend an hour or two romping around in a meadow, or splashing in a river. Children love it, and Eevee loves them back: most specimens have an exuberant nature and will lick and climb over humans as much as humans pet or play with them.

    What, then, makes Eeevee different from a dog? Firstly, it has some potential for use in Pokémon battling; if yours is a family that wants to produce Trainers, an Eeevee in the household can also function as a practice Pokémon for children and adults alike. Secondly, it has a very specific diet, covered in more detail elsewhere in this entry. Finally, and most importantly, it has an unusual habit of seeking out any source of radiation and going to sleep on it.

    This third habit is the one to watch out for: since Eevee in the wild can only reach maturity with the radiation emitted from so-called evolutionary stones, they have developed the ability to detect abnormal radiation, and a subsequent attraction to it. This is very useful if you live in an area frequently bombarded by Solrock's gamma rays, or near a poorly-insulated nuclear reactor, as you can simply position yourself in places your Eevee doesn't like going to, but otherwise it's something of a nuisance. More than one Eevee has managed to microwave itself to death in the past; countless others have wandered free of their homes, following the elusive scent of radioactivity, and been run over. If you want your Eevee to truly prosper, keep the television and the microwave firmly out of reach (perhaps atop blocks of ice; Eevee find this difficult to climb), and keep a tight leash on it when outside the house.

    Diet: Eevee is, despite appearances, wholly insectivorous, which can often present the unwary buyer with a problem. The usual solution is mealworms and crickets (or Caterpie, if you have the funds), but a few specimens can be weaned onto dog food.

    Housing: In the home, like a dog – but make sure to keep all televisions, microwaves and the like out of Eevee's reach.

    Size: Generally not more than nine inches at the shoulder, though some specimens have been recorded at up to a foot.

    Lifespan: Without evolving, Eevee can only live for five to seven years – just long enough, if you time the acquisition right, to last a child through their formative years.

    Evolution: Not recommended. The 'Eeveelutions' are all rather larger and more brutal than Eevee, in much the same way as a wolf is larger and more brutal than a dog. If you really must, though, the process requires evolutionary stones, which can be acquired cheaply through certain criminal organisations.

    Breeding: Easily bred; Eevee are as playful with each other as with humans, and if a male is introduced to the female while she is in season, there is every chance that she will come away pregnant. Eevee, as mammals so often do, give birth to live young; the gestation period is around sixty days, and after that a litter of four to six pups will be born. It is best not to remove them from the mother until they are three weeks old, because otherwise the mother is often afflicted with a terrible fit of depression, and commits suicide at the first opportunity.

    Acquisition: Eevee are cheap, and freely available from the usual chain of Pokémon Marts, though the prime specimens come from the Kanto-based EeveeWorld store. You can pick up extremely cheap ones in the markets in the Sevii Islands, though on at least one occasion the animals they were selling turned out to be foxes or even bear cubs.

    You misspelled Eevee as Eeevee in the sentences, "What, then, makes Eeevee different from a dog?" and "Firstly, it has some potential for use in Pokémon battling; if yours is a family that wants to produce Trainers, an Eeevee in the household can also function as a practice Pokémon for children and adults alike."

    But other than those errors, I currently see nothing else requiring corrections. I enjoyed reading this "guide" to Pokemon and am looking forward to seeing another chapter.

    Good luck.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Here is the chapter you were looking forward to, 01. Today, Coriolanus Rowland remains arrogant, and talks to us about domesticity.

    Chapter Two: Pokémon in the Home

    Perhaps you have some experience with Pokémon already. Perhaps you were a Trainer in your youth, or you've worked with them before, or you've kept a few as pets already and are ready to move on. Well, this is the point at which we move onto the big (well, bigger) boys. Now you truly begin to draw the sideways admiring glance from friends and neighbours; now, we reach the sort of Pokémon you might have seen on television or on a leash connected to a celebrity. Pokémon as domestic pets are growing in popularity, and are more fashionable than ever right now. Industry predictions indicate that by the end of 2011, the market will have overtaken that of traditional pets.

    And it is not hard to see why: your dog might be able to beg and fetch, but Lombre can make you breakfast; not even a pig can outclass Munchlax as a garbage disposal unit. The pets people have been keeping for centuries simply do not have enough to offer in the face of competition from Pokémon. Even pythons and tarantulas, the exemplars of risqué pets, are outdated: why not switch to a Slowbro, which can not only provide you with a modicum of free water but can help throw you into a meditative trance?

    Of course, with great power, as a wise uncle once said, comes great responsibility. While Slowbro are mainly peaceful, they are predators in the wild and will not hesitate to attack other pets that come near them; Lombre's sense of humour is often not shared by the parents of the children that it so loves to play with. There are rules and regulations to be obeyed. Not all Pokémon are legal to keep in all places, and there are often restrictions on their movement. Ensure that you know the law before purchasing, in order not to fall foul of it. If your Pokémon is only allowed out with a muzzle, make sure you have one; if it needs to have venom or flame sacs removed, make sure they are.

    I may be getting ahead of myself a little. Very few of the Pokémon in this section are restricted by law. If they were, they would hardly be suitable for keeping as domestic pets. Just remember that, as in all things, caution is necessary. Know your limits. Not everyone is me, and, by extension, not everyone can successfully keep a pair of breeding Serperior in a one-room apartment in Manchester.

    But above all, enjoy yourself. The law is an ass, after all, and there are so many opportunities to have fun with Pokémon that it's almost worth disregarding it entirely. Read on, and see for yourself the myriad methods of enriching your life that I have discovered.



    Originating from the deep forests of central Johto, Bayleef (Bonidorosaurus foliorum) is the last surviving member of a family of dinosaurs that has otherwise been extinct since the late Triassic. It is also the smallest: its closest relative, Riojasaurus, is estimated to have been around ten metres long.

    So far, so good; Bayleef is a little dinosaur, and dinosaurs always go down well, possessing as they do the ability to inspire wonder in almost everyone who sees them. Despite its small size, Bayleef is no exception; it is an impressive creature. However, alligators, tigers and other exotic pets are also impressive, so what has Bayleef to offer that sets it apart?

    Firstly, it has a ring of organs around its neck, visible at a cursory glance, that give off a gaseous substance similar in its effects to adrenaline. This adrenal vapour, coupled with its ability to move at a steady speed for a very long period of time, results in it making an excellent partner for cross-country athletes, if not an entirely legal one. A sniff of Bayleef vapour near the end of the race can provide the crucial boost to send one over the line first; what a pity that so few race officials are open to bribes.

    There is, of course, potential for abuse here. Many fake asthma inhalers filled with Bayleef adrenal vapour are produced every year and circulated amongst the sporting community. As with so many things in life, no one really minds unless one gets caught, something that precipitated my ejection from the 1996 Olympics. It is also something that has rendered me unable to visit the city of Atlanta, but that is an entirely different matter.

    Bayleef itself is a charming little creature, not overburdened with intelligence and somewhat prone to flatulence, but charming nevertheless. It has impressive stamina, as previously noted, and is rugged enough to withstand severe playing with. In fact, there are only two caveats I would make with regard to Bayleef: one is that spending more than seven hours in very close proximity to it may cause you to die of adrenaline shock, and two is that, in the heat of a dispute or even in play, Bayleef can lose themslves a little and casually disembowel their owners with a flick of the stiff, sharp leaf on their heads. Often, they do not even realise they are dead, which can lead to unfortunate situations where those who attempt to remove the body also end up being cut. I recall one incident I witnessed in Colorado where a Bayleef systematically sliced its way through four generations of one family before attempting to play catch with its deceased owners.

    The moral of the story is that you should make sure that your Bayleef has been pinioned before purchase. It is a simple operation that removes the muscle that attaches the leaf to the forehead; this leaves your Bayleef incapable of moving its head-leaf, and thus no longer lethal. If you are purchasing your animal directly from the trappers, then you may wish to take it to a vet and have the operation done yourself, rather than ask the hunters to do it for you; their methods are rather bloody and tend to leave a large and unnattractive scar.

    Diet: Your Bayleef will enjoy much the same sort of diet as any other advanced prosauropod.

    Housing: More difficult than usual. Bayleef require a paddock, though they will not mind if they lack slightly for space; while they prefer to be surrounded by trees, most will adapt quite happily to a meadow or field. They lack the sheer mass to be as warm-blooded as their relatives, and so require a heated stable for winter and cold nights.

    Size: Six to seven feet long, including the long neck and tail.

    Lifespan: Bayleef, like so many of the sauropod dinosaurs, are quite long-lived. In captivity, they will easily reach thirty years and perhaps forty; if allowed to evolve to Meganium, they will almost certainly reach sixty.

    Evolution: You may wish to raise your own Bayleef from a Chikorita; there is nothing to stop you doing so. However, you should think twice before evolving it to Meganium: will you be still be around to care for it in sixty years' time?

    Breeding: Bayleef are rather difficult to breed in captivity, hence their rarity. However, some success has been reported from China.

    Acquisition: Almost exclusive to Johto; Pokémon import and export from the country has always been strictly regulated, and consequently there are few other places one can obtain one.



    Slowbro (Bradysbatrachus imperator, variant B) is a curious creature. Biologically, it is exactly the same as a Slowpoke or Slowking, but the presence and position of the mutant Shellder alters the extent and power of its psychic powers and even its physical strength. The symbiotic relationship between Slowpoke and Shellder is one of the most curious things in Pokézoology; a number of theories have arisen as to why variant Shellder only affect Slowpoke, but none are yet proven. Perhaps you might inspire a sense of scientific curiosity in your children by raising them in a house with a Slowbro.

    Extremely docile by nature, Slowbro are the sort of playmate that won't mind being picked up, cuddled or pushed around; the venom of the Shellder actually appears to block their sense of pain, and they don't care if you injure them, especially as they can regenerate lost limbs within hours. In short, they are perfect pets for the clumsy, or for children.

    However, Slowbro are active hunters in the wild, and you should exercise caution accordingly. Cats who wander into your garden may not wander out again; they usually put a good fight, but it is hard to escape an adversary who is entirely single-minded, and physically incapable of becoming tired. One method of stopping deaths from occurring is to let one or two cats die to scare the others off; while simple, this method can become expensive, as pet owners often have an unaccountable desire for compensation. Another technique is to invest in a cat-scaring device, or surround your property with some sort of wide moat. The latter does have the frequent advantage of allowing Slowbro access to the fresh water it requires.

    As well as cuddly and occasionally threatening, Slowbro is useful. It can supply up to eighty gallons of free water a month; alternatively, it can put you into a mild trance, useful for attaining inner peace or reducing fatigue, whichever suits you better. This latter technique requires some training, and you must be prepared for some fairly dire migraines while your pet is learning how to do it; it is extremely stupid, and learns at the speed of continental drift.

    Diet: As a river predator, Slowbro feeds mainly on fish, insects and crustaceans; caution is advised if allowing it seafood, for it can swiftly become addicted, and the last thing you need is a super-powered salamander that is chemically dependent on caviar.

    Housing: Slowbro could come indoors, but it is very likely to break something, partly because it is very stupid and partly because it feels no pain and hence doesn't care if it crashes into things. Far better to keep it outside, in the garden – though of course, it must have accss to fresh water at all times.

    Size: Counting the Shellder, Slowbro are just over six feet long.

    Lifespan: Slowbro are one of those species that display negligible senescence, as they regenerate their cells at the same time as they age. However, sudden and extreme trauma to the head or any of the major organs usually kills them, if you find that you've become tired of your pet.

    Evolution: Inapplicable, though Slowbro can in fact devolve if the Shellder is removed from its tail. In that case, you will be left with a Slowpoke, which you can turn back into a Slowbro if you place the Shellder back on its tail. Alternatively, it can be forced to become a Slowking if the Shellder is positioned on its head. Be warned, however, that its simple memory will be erased if you move the Shellder from tail to head, and that moving the Shellder from head to tail will most likely cause an aneurism as its brain attempts to eject approximately 150 points of its IQ.

    Breeding: Inadvisable unless you have saintly patience. When Slowbro sees another Slowbro, it takes it approximately half an hour to realise that it is the same species, and twenty minutes more to determine whether or not it is a member of the same gender. If it does decide that mating is possible, it will take it several attempts to get it right. Some months later, a clutch of spherical, semitransparant eggs will appear in the pond where the mother lives; if you don't want her to eat them, you had better remove them and hatch them yourself.

    Acquisition: My wife and I often made our own Slowbro, conducting experiments in Johto's famous Slowpoke Well with a batch of genetically-modified Shellder; I would recommend this as a fun family outing, but warn you that security has been increased since we were arrested. Otherwise, Slowbro are available from the Slow Bros. chain of Bradysbatrachus stores across America.



    The closest to a universal solvent that we will ever know, Munchlax (Rotundocorpus minor) is by definition hungry; along with Snorlax, it is the sole occupant of the Rotundocorpus genus, a rare group of bears that take their family's omnivorous nature to extremes. They will eat anything and everything, heedless of toxins or simple indigestibility – and apparently suffer no ill effects, no matter what it is they ingest. I once (entirely in the spirit of science, you understand) conducted an autopsy on a Munchlax, and extracted the remnants of four types of cheese, two hams (with bone), a whole turkey, two wine bottles, a selection of different-flavoured Tic Tacs and the twisted remains of a racing bicycle. When it isn't eating, Munchlax is sleeping, allowing it to achieve the perfectly spherical shape that it requires for evolution.

    What does this mean for the homeowner? It means that you have a new way of removing rubbish from your household. Nothing is wasted with a Munchlax; organic or artificial, plastic or metal, all will disappear into its gaping mouth and reappear some months later as a solid, brick-like hairball. (Since Munchlax habitually does not move from the spot, it does not defecate, and prefers instead to excrete through its mouth.)

    I must, as ever, offer a word of warning. You will have to forcibly exercise your Munchlax every day, to prevent it becoming spherical and therefore being able to evolve. If you do not, your Munchlax will become a Snorlax, which will promptly forget you were ever its owner, devour you, demolish your house in search of more food and then depart for the mountains.

    Other than that, there need be little care taken when raising a Munchlax. Simply park it in the corner of the kitchen with a tray to cough hairballs into, and it will happily become part of the furniture. You can give it a name, but don't expect it to perform tricks, or indeed do much apart from eat as much as you can give it. It does offer surprisingly good hugs, if you take care to keep its fur soft and silky.

    The only other thing you must do is keep babies away from it. They do not move enough for Munchlax to recognise them as something still alive and therefore too much effort to eat.

    Diet: Whatever you care to put in front of it, although repeated ingestion of plutonium has shown to been detrimental to their health.

    Housing: The easiest Pokémon of all to house. It just needs a corner to sit in; it won't move unless the house is burning down, and only then if the fire gets within a metre of it.

    Size: Around two feet tall, including the ears.

    Lifespan: They expend very little energy, and so can survive for around forty-five years. This is longer than a great many marriages, so Munchlax ought to last your family for as long as it is needed.

    Evolution: I have already outlined reasons for not evolving Munchlax, as well as directions for avoiding doing so.

    Breeding: Impossible. Munchlax are by definition immature creatures, and can no more reproduce than a baby. Having said that, the Chinese are again reporting success, which is rather confusing.

    Acquisition: If you live in Sinnoh, Kanto or Uruguay, all you need to do is leave a large pile of cloth and scrap metal smeared with honey in your back garden; only Munchlax will come to eat it. If you are fortunate enough to live elsewhere, you will have to order them in from abroad. There are apparently quite a few Sinnish breeders who have taken an unaccountable shine to Snorlax.



    Lombre (Homolotus anansi) are indigenous to Hoenn and West Africa, two places that appear to have no connection whatsoever until one realises that the winds that blow over the former often carry their airborne seeds over to the latter. They are one of those curious species of Pokémon that combine aspects of plants and animals, and possibly the most exciting Pokémon in this chapter.

    Highly intelligent and lovers of mischief, Lombre in the wild spend a large proportion of their time playing tricks on other animals and on passers-by; a particular favourite of theirs is pretending to be a lost child, luring someone near, and then beating them up and throwing them in a lake. In captivity, this intellect can be turned to other uses.

    You could install a pond in your front garden, teach your Lombre how to recognise salesmen and to chase them away on sight (beware; many a postman has been lost forever this way). Another trick is to teach them how to operate kitchen appliances – their agile minds and dextrous hands leave them almost as capable as humans. I once owned Lombre that made a divine soufflé, though regrettably, that was all he learned to make; I attempted to teach him more, but mealtimes remained incredibly monotonous.

    Lombre, even when tamed, retain their mischievous nature as well as their intellect, and love to play with children. Unfortunately, children very often do not like to play with Lombre, since Lombre's idea of playing is beating someone up and throwing them in a lake. It also happens to be its primary hunting tactic. You should be wary of pet owners and parents. Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, Lombre have always been one of my favourites: they will trick you, and interfere with your affairs, and on more than one occasion you will probably consider having them put down – but in the end, they have such phenomenal character, such audacity, that you simply pick them up, hug them and wonder what possessed you. They are the epitome of a person you love to hate, and after you have experienced life with Lombre, you will never want to be without your irritating tearaway again.

    Diet: Meat and raw fish. Placing a standing order with your local fishmonger would help a great deal; it is always good to support local businesses.

    Housing: With its sharp intellect, Lombre is easily house-trained. However, I would caution against keeping it indoors, as their long arms and grasping hands are well-suited to taking and breaking any valuables they come across. They also figure out taps rather quickly, and take great pleasure in flooding houses until they resemble the rivers they originally lived in. Taking that into consideration, it might be better for them to live in a large pond in the garden, and to come inside only under adult supervision.

    Size: Between three and four feet tall, just the right height to snatch babies from prams.

    Lifespan: Twelve to eighteen years.

    Evolution: Ludicolo has its adherents. Any Pokémon that reacts to music with such a crazy dance is automatically beloved of all humans. However, Ludicolo have none of the charm of Lombre; they still have their intelligence, but the love of mischief that makes these little scamps so loveable has gone, replaced with a certain carefree attitude that leaves them somewhat bland. I recommend sticking with your little devil, no matter how much you love pineapples or ducks.

    Breeding: Lombre are sly and devious suitors, and will stoop to levels of extreme depravity to undercut their competitors for a mate, real or imagined. In the wild, mating season generally results in a large number of injuries; in the home, where there are no competitors, your Lombre will probably see you as the sole obstacle to its love, and attempt to murder you. If you must breed Lombre, then you will want to invest in some sort of neck protection, for they are accomplished with the garrotte.

    Acquisition: Freely available in stores throughout Hoenn – but also available very cheaply in Ghana, where they have thrived since the creation of Lake Volta, which has proved an excellent drowning spot.



    Perhaps the most unusual of the Pokémon in this chapter. Golett (Homunculus golem minor) lacks a true Linnaean classification, as the species is presumed to be artificially created; however, with the discovery of other synthetic Pokémon, it has been tentatively placed in a kingdom/genus fusion termed the Homunculi, a sort of taxonomic holding pen for species that have been created by artificial means.

    Golett is made entirely of blue-green river clay laid over black granite, with some form of energy contained within them, the precise nature of which is unknown. They possess unusual physical strength, and make excellent companions for those who like to work out.

    I recommend them as domestic pets primarily because they are so useful. Like Lombre, they can be taught to perform tasks; unlike Lombre, they can, if you show them how, complete very complex tasks beyond the capabilities of other Pokémon. They appear to function much like a robot, and memorise everything they see with the goal of repeating it on demand.

    This does have one disadvantage, and that is that they have no personality. They require no sustenance or sleep, and when not needed will simply stand in a corner and hum blankly to themselves. They are servants, not playmates, and it seems that this was the purpose for which they were constructed.

    However, the advantages are enormous: Golett can perform all of the housework that its small stature allows it to, and will never cut corners or put off boring tasks until later. A group of them, being largely bulletproof, also make for a squadron of excellent bodyguards or private soldiers – useful for celebrities, controversial political figures, and authors of Pokémon guide books who need to return to the scene of the crime.

    Diet: None.

    Housing: Unnecessary. Prolonged exposure to rainfall will wash parts of your Golett's covering off, exposing the granite beneath; this is unattractive, so some sort of roof might be desirable.

    Size: Precisely one metre tall, indicating that whoever created them used the metric system.

    Lifespan: Forever, as long as they are not destroyed; at least, it is assumed they last forever, as almost all known specimens are over four thousand years old and still functioning.

    Evolution: If you decide that you want more of a bodyguard than a domestic servant, then by all means evolve it; Golurk are more suited to the battlefield than the home, but at least one high-profile celebrity has appeared in public riding one. Just be aware that they cannot turn back, and that it is far harder for a nine-foot mechanised boulder to do the washing up than a three-foot one.

    Breeding: Not possible, as no one knows how to create more. There are reports that a certain Golurk, termed Variant B, has exhibited signs of having been created to build more Golett – but as it is currently under investigation by the US government, it has been difficult for anyone to find anything out about it.

    Acquisition: They are not cheap. With only 3,000 of them in existence, a Golett could set you back several hundred thousand pounds. However, when you consider that this is a creature that will serve you, your children, your children's children and so forth for the rest of time, the price tag starts to look reasonable.


    Who says you can't go home?
  • 417
    This is an interesting idea. I like reading it, and some of the things are very creative. 'Husbandry' in the title is a bit of a weird term, though.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    'Husbandry' refers to the breeding and rearing of animals. It makes perfect sense, at least for someone like Coriolanus Rowland.

    Pokémon for Security

    When we're dealing with creatures capable of killing most humans with a single well-placed finger, it is inevitable that guard work will crop up at some point. In this chapter, therefore, I have compiled a list of Pokémon that excel at police and home security work.

    There is an important distinction to be made here between the two. Police Pokémon are good at tracking down criminals and holding them captive; guard-Pokémon for the home should never be doing this, leading as it does to the twin problems of costly lawsuits and the abandonment of their post. No, the domestic guardian ought merely to scare off door-to-door salesmen, robbers and dislikeable in-laws.

    And, of course, neither the police nor the homeowner should be looking toward the Pokémon more suited to military work. A single Aggron, dropped strategically into a war zone, can effectively destroy an army – but that same Aggron, confined in your back garden, will probably walk through your house and destroy your neighbourhood instead.

    So what are we looking for when we ask for domestic security? The answer is that it depends on what sort of security this is. Is this a Pokémon to be chained near the front door, to ward off those visitors you'd rather not see? Or is this a Pokémon to be kept inside, to surprise the nocturnal invader? If you are uncertain what exactly you want, consider just getting a regular Pokémon pet; it must be remembered that a lone Lombre, if placed well, can easily scare off the casual thief. If you have real valuables to protect, it may be wise to invest in proper security Pokémon, however, and this is where this chapter will help you.

    Moving on to police work, then, the potential of Pokémon is enormous. Mounted police have been making a return in recent years with the introduction of Rapidash; unless criminals have Pokémon of their own, they find them difficult to evade. (If this is a concern of yours, I recommend bringing along a getaway Arcanine, which possesses the twin advantages of being able to outrun a Rapidash and being completely invulnerable to fire. Experience has taught me always to expect the worst.) There are also promising trials being conducted with Manectric, in which they compare favourably with bloodhounds.

    This chapter is subdivided into two categories; one for the homeowner, and one for the policeman. Read on, then, and discover the spectacular world of violence that is just a few short inches from your grasp.


    Home Security


    Only really recommended for owners of large amounts of land, Mightyena (Crocuta diabolis) does exactly the same job as a pack of hounds, but better. More intelligent, better coordinated and possessed of an unending bloodlust, they are the premier choice for the modern baron or viscount looking to serf-proof his property.

    Mightyena are members of the hyena family, which sits between that of the cats and the dogs, and as such have an excellent and rigid – if slightly brutal – pack structure. Once you or your groundskeeper is established as the pack leader in their eyes, any attempt at insubordination will be ruthlessly put down by the others in the group. The beasts themselves will be loyal to you unto death.

    The main question one would ask is this: why use Mightyena, notorious for killing at least eighty per cent of humans that they give chase to, when the safer alternative of guard dogs is available? The answer is simple. Anyone who even needs to ask this question must have the simultaneous inadequacies of lacking a healthy disregard for human life, and of being something of a spoilsport. The real question is, why use dogs when Mightyena are available?

    Please note that certain laws regarding human welfare make guard Mightyena more useful in less economically developed countries.

    Diet: If your land is regularly intruded upon, this may not be a problem; otherwise, seek large quantities of meat. You will not be able to keep a pack cheaply, but it is a small price to pay for such enviable security.

    Housing: As your average lion.

    Size: Between five to six feet in length.

    Lifespan: In the wild, twelve years or less; one Mightyena at a zoo in Hamburg was once thought to have lived to be 25, but it was later proven to be an elderly bear that had been mislabelled by a clerical error.

    Evolution: Poochyena are often as vicious as Mightyena, but lack their elders' unstoppable brave idiocy; if kicked, they are liable to retreat. It is best for the discerning owner to evolve them through battle before using them as guards.

    Breeding: Tricky. As alpha male, the owner of the pack will be expected to mate first with one of the females, so that the others will know which ones they are allowed to mate with; if this does not occur, no members of the pack reproduce that year. It is probably best to leave Mightyena breeding to the professionals.

    Acquisition: There exists a fine dealership in Mightyena in the north of Hoenn; however, if a trip overseas is beyond your means (and if it is, do think twice about acquiring a pack of Mightyena) then you can pick up some rather inferior specimens in Kenya.



    The perfect nightwatchman, Sentret (Cambarsus sentret) is less of a security guard and more of a burglar alarm. They possess an innate tendency to keep watch over their surroundings, and three or four of them, spread around your home and garden, will notice any attempted intrusion and begin to scream and thump the ground with their tail. Since the average Sentret is capable of producing a sound in excess of 115 decibels, it is not only likely to wake you but everyone in the neighbourhood, and very probably temporarily deafen the would-be thief into the bargain.

    Other than that, there is some merit in Sentret as a cuddly family pet – but it will always dedicate itself, first and foremost, to the guarding of what it sees as its family, or clan, and hence will never truly throw itself into the festivities. They are like old soldiers who have seen too much, and can never truly relax.

    Some recommend Patrat as an alternative to Sentret, but Patrat will always try and signal to you with their tails that there is an intruder in the house, and this rarely wakes anyone up unless the Pokémon is sitting on their face.

    In all, other than its remarkable lung capacity, Sentret is rather boring. If you want a lively pet, I recommend evolving it: Furret are bouncy, active and always ready to play, or (if, like me, you have dangerous enemies) to be used as an impromptu garrotte.

    Diet: Mainly insectivorous, but, like many meerkat and mongoose species, they are adventurous in their tastes: toxic centipedes, scorpions and millipedes are their favourites. Capitalising on their handy immunity to Ekans venom, they also enjoy snakes, and occasionally lizards.

    Housing: Similar to ferret. They require a fairly large home, and most of them enjoy a network of tubes to negotiate. However, they will spend the majority of their time balancing on their tail outside their den, keeping watch, so it is advisable that they have space to do so.

    Size: Two and a half to three feet in length, much of which is tail.

    Lifespan: In theory, twelve to fourteen years, though some have occasionally been known to cut their lives short by screaming so loudly that they burst. If this happens to your Sentret, it is probably best to hire a professional cleaner, or you will be picking offal out of the carpet for months to come.

    Evolution: Not difficult, but Furret, being a top predator in the Johtonian plains they frequent, lack the guardian spirit that Sentret have in abundance. They are a friendly pet rather than a burglar alarm.


    Acquisition: Johto, unsurprisingly, is the best place to go; Cherrygrove is often cited as producing the best specimens, though I have heard it said that New Bark is something of a hidden gem in terms of Sentret breeding.


    Throh & Sawk

    I am always wary about recommending these two. Throh (Lithicutis major) and Sawk (Lithicutis minor) are close relatives of humans and chimpanzees, and as such display both worrying intelligence and worrying aggression. The combination of these qualities results in a creature that can not only take offence at an insult but that has no qualms about exacting revenge for it. Between the two species, improperly handled Throh and Sawk are to blame for forty per cent of injuries to first-time Pokémon owners. However, properly trained and treated well, they are among the most formidable weapons legal for any homeowner to possess.

    Both Throh and Sawk are capable of enormous leverage, but apply it in different ways: while Throh will grapple with and toss the intruder from your property, while Sawk will kick and punch them into unconsciousness (or death, whichever comes sooner). If you keep Throh, you will want to make sure that it remembers to open doors and windows before hurling anyone through them.

    Be aware that these Pokémon will want to spend most of their day training; interrupting them at this pastime will usually cause them to become violent. Some of them can be weaned from this habit, but you will find they put on a great deal of weight very quickly, becoming morbidly obese and dying from weight-related diseases. I suppose that they are most feasible as pets if you are a master of martial arts who can strike up a friendship on equal terms with them; when I tried my hand at this, I very quickly discovered how unpleasant it is to break both legs, and have since never gone near either Throh or Sawk.

    Diet: Fruits, nuts and people who displease them.

    Housing: Easily house-trained, they will be happy with a room in your home to call their own. This should be furnished with a punch bag, which will keep your Pokémon amused when they have no would-be intruders to subdue.

    Size: Throh are usually between four and five feet high, and Sawk are a little taller.

    Around sixteen years, but they often die young from rage-induced heart attacks.

    Evolution: Not applicable.

    Oddly enough, this doesn't seem to occur; every single Throh and Sawk is male.

    Acquisition: Dorian's, the Castelia-based Pokémon emporium, is the place to go. No one has ever bred them, and consequently they are in fairly short supply, which is probably a blessing.


    Police Work


    A powerful tool for the modern police force, but one that requires that your officers be carefully trained, Rapidash (Equus monocerus infernus) is the reason for the resurgence of mounted police in recent years. Capable of running at speeds in excess of 150 mph, there are very few criminals capable of escaping it. Of course, there is the significant danger posed by buildings, which do not exist on the rolling plains Rapidash evolved in; since it is difficult to turn corners at that sort of speed, unskilled riders often end up dead with their mounts after running into walls. Another safety precaution to be taken is a fire-proof face mask, since Rapidash's mane is made wholly of flames, and tends to stream out onto the head of the rider.

    These two drawbacks aside, Rapidash are very serviceable mounts. As well as conferring the height and speed advantages that regular horses do, they are extremely good for policing riots: their fiery bodies are very intimidating, and they are excellent at dispersing crowds with weak Heat Waves. Rapidash were in fact a key part of the battle against the London rioters of a few days ago, where they also employed their flame-manipulation powers to help suppress the fires that broke out. There was one rather nasty incident where one flicked its head back in exultation and accidentally stabbed its rider in the face with its horn, but accidents such as these must be recognised as very uncommon and then ignored.

    Diet: Just like a horse.

    Housing: Conveniently housed in your paddock; it does loath getting wet because of the noise the rain makes as it sizzles in its mane, so a stable would seem logical. However, this cannot be a conventional stable; there is too much (flammable) straw and wood in those. Neither can it be metal, for its flames will heat the metal until even your Rapidash is cooked; you might well ask what you can make the stable out of, and I would have to answer stone, with clay or ceramic lining.

    Size: Equine.

    Lifespan: Twenty-five to thirty years, though I once saw one that the owner claimed to be seventy. Thinking back on this, I realise that my wife was right, and it was probably a lie.

    Evolution: As Ponyta, they make ideal mounts for the non-police rider, provided they don't weigh more than fifty-two kilograms. However, they are only really useful for chasing things as Rapidash.

    Breeding: As a horse.

    Acquisition: Rapidash have been domesticated across the world; excellent specimens are to be found in the horse markets of Ulan Bator, where they have been bred for centuries ever since the Mongols discovered the fact that archery from Rapidash-back results in a volley of flaming arrows.



    Beldum (Psychomachina minor) are, though rare, very useful in modern policing. A group of them telepathically linked to a controlling Metang can act as mobile security cameras, beaming all they see back to the station. Their small size and levitating nature mean that they are difficult for criminals to evade, and can continually beam updates on the situation back to the policeman tracking them. If necessary, they are also quite good at ramming into things, which can be useful for stopping those attempting to evade justice but which also counts as police abuse in many countries. It is a pity that lawyers are so commonly available these days; I remember simpler days, when all problems were solved with good clean physical violence.

    I miss those times.

    Diet: Beldum absorb energy from power lines, magnetic fields and the brain waves of those nearby. Leaving them near a convict for a long period of time will cause excruciatingly painful headaches; whether you choose to separate Beldum and prisoners after reading this or put them closer together is entirely up to you.

    Housing: They do not really sleep in the conventional sense of the word; they will be happy if allowed to rest occasionally on shelves or other flat surfaces.

    Size: Around two feet long.

    Lifespan: Uncertain. Rather than claim their immortality, I will just say that no Beldum has ever been observed to die.

    Evolution: Metang make admirable controllers for your group of Beldum, if you can tame them. The evolutionary process is unique, requiring you to coax two Beldum to fuse together. Under no circumstances, though, should you attempt to evolve them all the way to Metagross; as possibly the top land predator on the entire planet, accidents are bound to happen. Of course, you have probably heard of Steven Stone, Emeritus Champion of the Hoenn Pokémon League, and his Metagross – but he is the exception rather than the rule. The average man on the street will be killed in an instant if confronted by a Metagross.

    Breeding: Generally speaking, not possible; however, sometimes, a glitch in their source code will cause a Metang or Metagross to deconstruct itself and rebuild the parts into three or five Beldum, respectively.

    Acquisition: Rare. Northern Europe is your best bet, and the more untamed the better. There are some hackers who are trying to get Metang to continually spawn Beldum in Sweden, where they are more common than elsewhere; try your luck and see if you can pick up a pack cheaply.



    All the convenience of police dogs, without the hassle of being vulnerable to bullets. Herdier (Canis scutopilos) has a unique outer coat of toughened dark fur and impressive stamina. Studies show that they can withstand severe beatings for anything up to four hours before showing signs of bruising; at moderate leve, the beating could extend for six or seven hours before Herdier register pain. Only a dire beating will bring bruises and broken bones within the hour. (For the specifics of levels of beating, from mild to dire, please refer to Ambrose Witherspoon's seminal work Beatings: The Scientist's Guide.)

    The only thing to bear in mind with Herdier is that they are supremely loyal, and if the trainers they are used to working with are away, they may well refuse to obey. In extreme cases, such as when they are separated from their trainers for extended periods of time, they may even commit suicide. It is recommended that they aren't allowed outside at times like this, or near sharp objects.

    Diet: As a dog.

    Housing: As a dog.

    Size: Around three feet tall at the shoulder. They aren't the sort of dog to be taken lightly.

    Lifespan: Twelve to fourteen years, if not allowed to evolve.

    Evolution: While Stoutland are extremely tough creatures, they lack the manoeuvrability of Herdier and are not so well suited to police work. (However, they make excellent substitutes for bears, if bear baiting happens to be illegal where you live.)

    Breeding: Much as a dog, although Herdier have elaborate courtship rituals that other dogs do not. It is best not to interfere with these if you prefer your legs unmauled, though some breeders claim to be able to walk freely among them during the mating season.

    Acquisition: Dorian's is the best, of course, but there are breeders worldwide. Herdier have never been difficult to get hold of.


  • 7
    Dude, this is awesome, very creative, and it looks at Pokemon more...realistically, and it has a lot of moments where you just can't help but laugh! First Pokemon Snakewood, and now this...awesome! Update plox!


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Dude, this is awesome, very creative, and it looks at Pokemon more...realistically, and it has a lot of moments where you just can't help but laugh! First Pokemon Snakewood, and now this...awesome! Update plox!

    Why thank you. I expect I shall have another chapter later this week, wherein Coriolanus will blow his own trumpet louder than ever, and reminisce about the good old days. And maybe even give you a bit of information about Pokémon.


    Anspruchsvolle Narr
  • 52
    Oh, Cutlerine. This is why you are my hero- You are basically me, and who better to be my hero than me?

    This is a rather interesting piece. It reminds me of a piece I read on... I want to say FFA, in which the authour was going through each Pokemon from the beginning and writing in-depth fanlore about them, though it waxed less cynical and more succinct than these. I think the last time I checked on it he was in the early Johtoh 'Mons.

    I would say this is a far more interesting read, though, with a lot more character to it. I've only spotted a few small inconsistencies in the style- Particularly, a sort of apathy in the "size" field on the most recent entries?

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Oh, Cutlerine. This is why you are my hero- You are basically me, and who better to be my hero than me?

    You're like me? So you're one of those weird people who spend a week drawing pictures of people in suits with creepy rabbit heads and wallpaper your room with them, while simultaneously listening to Koreans sing about heartbreak and playing Halo? Man, it's so hard to find other people like that!

    In all seriousness, though, I think that's a compliment, so... Woo! Me likey.

    This is a rather interesting piece. It reminds me of a piece I read on... I want to say FFA, in which the authour was going through each Pokemon from the beginning and writing in-depth fanlore about them, though it waxed less cynical and more succinct than these. I think the last time I checked on it he was in the early Johtoh 'Mons.

    I would say this is a far more interesting read, though, with a lot more character to it. I've only spotted a few small inconsistencies in the style- Particularly, a sort of apathy in the "size" field on the most recent entries?

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more.

    Glad you like it. I've noticed this 'size' business, too; I need to think of more jokes. Shouldn't be too hard. After all, I thought of a good one this morning. It was about bees and Loathing...

    Uh, that's completely irrelevant. What I meant to say was: I realise that I've promised chapters for both this and My Trip to the End of Time, By Pearl Gideon for this week; however, real life cornered me in a blind alley and bashed me repeatedly over the head with university application procedures while shooting my computer full of virus (or possible hard disk failure), so I've been somewhat distracted. There'll definitely be a new chapter for both at some point this weekend. I can even tell you what the next chapter of Coriolanus' Guide will be about: it'll be about farming and agriculture. Exciting, huh? Livestock ho!



    Gone. May or may not return.
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    Good grief. The more I write from Coriolanus' point of view, the more I realise that he's a horrible, horrible person.

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Pokémon on the Farm[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Use the words Pokémon and agriculture in the same sentence, and one is immediately caught up in the Miltank controversy. Covered in greater detail in the article pertaining to the creatures themselves, this is but one of the myriad issues surrounding the keeping of Pokémon for fur, meat or eggs. The dubious legality of growing Oddish to smoke the leaves; the debate over whether Corphish feel pain; the questionable safety of distilled Gulpin – the list goes on and on. Is this area, then, best left alone? Is it too dangerous, too controversial, for the average farmer to consider?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]I say no. I recall my time on a Whimsicott farm fondly; there were dangers, yes – particularly when small children came on a school trip – but if we had had the proper security measures, then all would have been well. In fact, the only truly bad experience I have had on a farm would be when I inspected a Combee apiary, where certain things that are best left unsaid occurred. Fine, you say; Coriolanus Rowland is self-evidently a man who knows what he's talking about – but what are we to do to keep our farms safe? How can we evade the heavy penalties so often exacted on unfortunate farmers when their livestock kidnap and consume a contingent of ramblers?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]First and foremost, equip yourself with a sterling lawyer. This is your first and most important line of defence against lawsuits. Secondly, adhere rigidly to the directions given herein; doing so may well result in a cessation of accidents (though that does seem too much to hope for, given that you are attempting to confine and farm super-powered animals). Thirdly, make sure you always have a scapegoat; this is a rule my father taught me when I was a child, and it does credit to his memory that I can say it has served me well in all walks of life. It is also, incidentally, the reason why my wife and I are no longer on speaking terms.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]But enough of me. Read on, absorb my wisdom, and bring life back into your farm.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Miltank[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]When the question of Pokémon agriculture is brought up, there is simply no way around mentioning Miltank (Superbovus maximus). Herded in north-west Johto for hundreds of years, they are the prevailing icon of Pokémon farming. In recent years, however, there has been fierce debate about the properties of their famous milk, which is a rich cocktail of vitamins and minerals that confers remarkable good health upon the drinker. The issue lies in the high addictiveness of the stuff: with the expansion of Miltank farms, milk addiction is becoming more and more of an issue.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]It might seem paradoxical to condemn an addictive substance for being too healthy, but there's more. Overdosing on so-called Moomoo milk leads to the development of supernatural speed and strength, and the combination of these powers with the inherently dangerous nature of an addict is a daunting prospect.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Consequently, the farming of Miltank is prohibited in the EU, and the topic is the subject of intense debate in the US. Many other countries allow only their meat to be harvested, though in fact some of them permit a restricted trade in the milk, and in the Congo there are no laws about Miltank products at all. Unfortunately, there are a few minor political factors that make setting up a farm there economically unviable.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]However, if one is set on farming Miltank, remember that this will also mean keeping at least one or two Tauros to impregnate them. This is always a risky undertaking, given that Tauros are perhaps the least friendly form of cattle in existence (including the African buffalo). I recommend keeping it sedated, or possible in some form of cryogenetic stasis, except when it is needed.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Diet: When formulating a diet for Miltank, one must think of it as eating everything a cow will eat, with the exception of grass.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Housing: Though they are less active than cattle – an achievement in itself – Miltank require far more food, so it is best to keep them in relatively small herds in large fields, and move them regularly.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Size: On all fours, they are only around four foot at the shoulder; however, they often move about on their hind legs, which brings their height to an imposing six or seven feet. The male of the species, Tauros, can reach five or six feet at the shoulder, and always stay on all fours in order to increase their ramming power.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Lifespan: Generally 15-17 years for the domestic breeds, but in the wild they tend to live longer. The reason for this is not yet fully understood.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Evolution: Inapplicable.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Breeding: Always tricky, due to the necessary involvement of Tauros. Some advocate letting it loose once a year into the herd, but this means one has to catch it again – and catching a healthy Tauros in the midst of his conjugal fervour is no easy matter. It is best to consult the specialist literature here, but my feeling would be that Miltank ought to be led to the Tauros' abode, where it will be easier to tranquilise the beast.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Acquisition: Johto has always produced prime specimens, and there are some excellent breeding farms in the north-west.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]*
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Combee and Vespiquen[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Combee (Frendomelissa dimorphus), like Miltank, is a tricky creature to keep. It seems that the danger posed by Pokémon increases in time with its usefulness to humanity, for Combee are both producers of the world's best honey and the greatest misogynist threat the world has ever seen. If you live in Sinnoh, it is likely you already know what I mean; if not, I shall explain. Female Combee eventually evolve to the hive organism and aerial honey-factory Vespiquen, which occupies a place of particular power in the Sinnish ecosystem; male Combee do not evolve, and leave the hives as soon as they are born to join swarms of other males. These swarms are driven by a unifying hatred for females and the power they wield, and roam the land in an attempt to kill every female organism on the planet.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Naturally, then, when one sets up a Combee apiary, full of female Combee, one attracts the attention of males – who will do everything in their power to slay every last one of your valuable stock.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]What, then, must be done to prevent unimaginable financial loss on the part of the would-be beekeeper? The answer lies in fire. Take a look at the famous meadows of Floaroma; without the Fire-type Pokémon used to guard them and their stock of Combee, the male bees would swiftly overrun and destroy the farms through sheer force of numbers. (It must be remembered that only 12.5% of all Combee are female, according to the last census.) For this reason, I recommend that several Fire-types proficient in the use of Heat Wave are kept at hand all the time, in case of misogynist assault; three Ninetales are usually sufficient for a good-sized apiary, though less well-off farmers should be aware that the cheaper Vulpix is a (less effective) alternative.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]It is also worth noting that male Combees hate all females, not just females of their species: they will sting women to death, as well as female animals or Pokémon. There is a reason Combeekeeping has historically been a man's game. I once knew a certain feminist who wished to assert her equality with men by running a Combee apiary; as grand gestures go, this was rather a stupid one, as bees possess neither morals nor a sufficient understanding of the rules of debate to withhold from stinging someone until she has finished making her point. Suffice to say that I had one more funeral to attend that month, which was a pity as I was planning a trip to Germany to study Zuppenkrab. What was even worse was that having cancelled my plans, I was then thrown out of the funeral for being male; such, regretfully, is the price of progress. After all, equality is a noble goal, but there are less insensitive ways of achieving it, such as throwing men who are not Coriolanus Rowland out of funerals.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Interestingly and far more relevantly, there are signs that certain tribes of Jynx are starting crusades against all male organisms, too; if no one has considered pitting these in a battle against a swarm of male Combee, I would recommend it, if only because it would probably result in an immensely popular television show.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Diet: Nectar for the females and, perhaps because of their lifestyle, spinal fluid for the males.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Housing: Combee themselves are usually kept in the same manner as bees, though on a larger scale; Vespiquen are self-housing, since they each keep their own colony of worker Combee inside their abdomens. Remember that there must be some sort of tower from which one can mount a lookout for approaching swarms of males, or they will appear before you are ready with your Fire-types.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Size: Combee are around the size of a wren – that is to say, not more than four inches long at the absolute maximum. Vespiquen, on the other hand, grow continually with age; on average, they are around three and half feet tall, but they have been known to reach six feet. Any larger than this, it seems, and their primitive lungs are no longer capable of providing them with oxygen, and they asphixiate.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Lifespan: Unevolved Combee live no longer than four years at the most, though many are killed by the cold each winter. Vespiqueen may live for up to nine years; they too have some problems with the cold, but are generally capable of hibernating through it at the expense of their worker Combee's lives.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Evolution:[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif] Necessary if one wants to create a profitable farm; ten Vespiqueen and their respective colonies can do the work of one hundred and forty Combee for half the food supply.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Breeding: To be expected. Unlike bees, every Combee is fertile; unlike bees and indeed most organisms, male Combee will under no circumstances mate with a female, and the species is perpetuated solely by parthenogenesis. Remarkably, the eggs thereby produced are fertile, though it does raise questions about the genetic adaptability of the species.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Acquisition: Sinnoh breeders simply can't be matched here, although if one wants Vespiquen without Combee, there are often a few to be picked up relatively inexpensively at Dorian's. Alternatively, one could try the Thai markets, which sell Combee live for the cooking pot at scandalously low prices. However, these specimens are often de-winged and de-stinged, though they can be used to breed healthy ones, and therefore disprove Lamarckism as well as start off your colony.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]*[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Vanilluxe[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]It is rare that one chooses to farm so dangerous a creature as Vanilluxe (classification uncertain); to put it in context, doing so is roughly equivalent to an animal farmer attempting to farm tigers. Inhabitants of Castelia City will know all too well the danger of feral Vanilluxe; scarcely a week goes by without another person falling to their predation. They are completely silent, and generally follow people for some time through alleyways before swiftly and suddenly freezing their head solid and consuming the remaining flesh on the body; even if they do not have the element of surprise, they are uncommonly difficult to take on in a fight, being largely unaffected by bullets and capable of lowering one's core body temperature to below freezing in less than four seconds. Just looking at them tells you that they are dangerous: their twin faces bear fixed, staring grins and they are almost always surrounded in a haze of icy mist.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Why, then, would any sane person try and farm one of Unova's top predators? The answer is, as with almost everything else in life, money. Vanilluxe's bodies, which work by some mechanism unknown to modern biology, are entirely composed of soft-scoop ice cream of a quality unattainable by conventional methods of production. Vanilluxe ice cream is a delicacy that commands high prices across Northern Europe and Unova; at present, though, this is entirely taken from wild-caught specimens, which are carefully hunted using Fire Arrows produced by the Hyrule Weaponry Corporation. However, as knowledge of these strange creatures increases, ways of containing and sedating them are being discovered, and now the ice cream industry stands on the brink of a revolution: for the first time in human history, it is beginning to be possible to farm their product.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]We have established that there is a remarkable financial incentive. How, then, does one go about farming Vanilluxe? With great caution, I would reply. It is worth having an Arcanine to act as a sort of sheepdog and keep them in line; however, getting the so-called Legendary Pokémon out of China can be hell, so perhaps one might settle for Ninetales, which is less effective at this job but easier to obtain. The best way of containing Vanilluxe is still being debated, but I personally lean towards the theory of a converted aircraft hanger, from which at least escape is unlikely.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]If any of your Vanilluxe do escape, there is almost nothing you can do except attempt to destroy them. Capturing Vanilluxe takes time and effort; their metabolisms run extremely slowly (like humans, they kill more to pass the time than to obtain food) and any sedative takes at least forty-eight hours to take effect. If they get beyond your farm's boundaries, they will almost certainly kill at least four people, and very probably more; they naturally do well in cities, being skilled at navigating alleys, evading detection and sniping pursuers in the head with long-distance Ice Beams. For this reason, I cannot recommend placing your farm near any major settlement, or even any settlements at all.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Collecting the ice-cream would also be a major problem were it not for a quirk of nature: thankfully, Vanilluxe die after mating, which means that once a year your entire stock will perish, leaving crystalline eggs for next year and several tones of premium ice cream behind.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Diet: Raw flesh. You should operate on a scheme of feast and fast; if you give them too much food, it will go to waste as they will refuse to eat it. I suggest the equivalent of one person of average build (perhaps an estate agent or similarly unloved character) per fortnight per creature.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Housing: As described above. Others recommend underground vaults, which are arguably more secure but often result in in-fighting amongst the group, with the result that several of your valuable animals end up dead.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Size: Up to four and a half feet tall; they do float, though, which means that their eyes are usually level with one's own.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Lifespan: No one is entirely certain how long they live if they do not mate; it does not help that they are all almost completely identical, and individual specimens are therefore hard to track. Otherwise, they die after reproducing.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Evolution: This occurs naturally over the course of eight months, which is why it is impossible to keep, for instance, just Vanillite – which would be far safer.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Breeding: Will occur every year, provided you have an equal mix of males and females, at around the time of the autumn solstice. This lets the young mature through the winter, which is the easiest time of year for them.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Acquisition: Specialist hunters in Sweden, Norway and Unova; there are currently no established breeders, but often one can find baby Vanillite lurking around the warehouses in Driftveil City. There is always the option of capturing an adult in Castelia, but the Vanilluxe there seem to be rather old, and all are well-versed in the art of skulking around a city and killing people who come near them.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]*[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Clamperl[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Whenever one has to remove a Pokémon's head for the sake of jewellery, there will always be complaints. Clamperl (Biconcha margaritari) is no exception; it forms beautiful pearls within its shell, but unfortunately these pearls house its eyes, mouth and brain. Naturally, this has been the cause of some considerable tension between Pokémon welfare lobbyists and pearl farmers.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]The primary thing to bear in mind here is, I think, that no one has definitively proved that Clamperl are capable of feeling pain yet. Therefore, the agriculturalist is perfectly justified in believing that they in fact feel nothing when they are prised open and have their heads twisted off.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]And certainly it could be argued that the end justifies the means: Clamperl pearls are highly sought-after, not only because of their incredible size and colouration, but because touching them amplifies psionic ability. For instance, Trainers who used Spoink habitually use the pearls to increase their Pokémon's rather puny powers.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Other than the controversy, there is little to say about them. They are rather dull creatures.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Diet: They are filter feeders; their water supply should contain as much plankton as possible, to promote active growth.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Housing: A large lake should do for a good-size colony; however, the danger of this is that in the dark you might miss one of them becoming too large to fit inside its shell. When they reach this size they are close to evolution, and therefore close to becoming a potent threat. You may wish to grow them in batch tanks instead, where it is easier to check them. Make sure to keep them in the dark; high light levels bother them, which causes imperfections in their pearls.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Size: They grow continually, but should be harvested before they begin to spill outside their shell, which occurs when the shell reaches its maximum diameter of two feet.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Lifespan: It depends on what they evolve into: if Huntail, four years; if Gorebyss, seven.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Evolution: When Clamperl grow too large, they evolve within the safe confines of their shell over a period of several days and emerge as either powerful deep-sea predators or sturdy deep-sea browsers. You will want to harvest them before this happens; if a Huntail gets into your stock, you will get a rather nasty surprise the next time you harvest the pearls.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Breeding: Clamperl cannot breed; Huntail or Gorebyss produce clouds of eggs that hatch into gelatinous blobs. These settle to the seafloor and mature into Clamperl, and can be bought in various stages of development.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Acquisition: The pearl reefs of eastern Hoenn are famous for them, especially around Mossdeep Island, but otherwise they are fairly commonly available through the usual markets.[/FONT]
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    Gone. May or may not return.
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    Aerial Pokémon

    Flight has been one of mankind's great obsessions for longer than anyone can remember, and those who possess the ability to tame and even ride the beasts of the sky have enjoyed a certain exalted status since time immemorial. The sight of a Staraptor overhead brings awe to the face (though this is swiftly replaced by terror); diving Fearow is possibly the most fearsome sight in Kanto – flying Pokémon are often amongst the great predators of the planet, and anyone would be desirous of having them under their control.

    However, this is a guide aimed at the more inexperienced keeper, and so I, as ever, advise against aiming for the shock and awe factor. Buying a Skarmory is essentially assisted suicide.

    What, then, can one keep if one isn't a master? The answer is to start with Emolga; always start with Emolga when considering making a hobby or career out of aerial Pokémon. If you have a mind to ride your Pokémon, you should also begin by learning to ride a Doduo; more on this can be found in the next chapter. From Emolga, you will be well-placed to move on to a Pidgeotto or Swellow – and from there, if you really must, you could even make an attempt with the dreaded Golbat.

    Many of these creatures are suited to falconry. Swellow is adept at catching other birds and fast-moving insects; Braviary is stronger, slower and tackles more powerful prey. Pokémon keeping has brought a new split in falconers' circles: there are those who stick to traditional falconry, flying birds at small targets – and there are those who have embraced the potential of larger birds, and choose their prey accordingly. Sheep and cattle have proven popular, though it has to be said that wolves put up more of a fight.

    Whether you are a sportsman or merely an aspiring pet owner, this chapter will tell you all you need to know. Flying Pokémon are difficult and often deadly to keep, but the rewards are tremendous, or at least a very sharp learning curve.



    Chatot (Agapomis magnificens) is, unusually for a Pokémon, in the same genus as a regular animal; so closely related to the Yellow-Collared Lovebird that it can interbreed with it, it is a mere stone's throw from being an ordinary bird. Consequently, its powers are somewhat weak, and it is therefore suitable for the first-time owner looking for a novelty pet.

    The most striking thing about Chatot is, of course, their uncanny knack for mimicry. They outclass all other parrots by a long way in this regard; they speak as if they were an actual recording of the sound. It is often claimed that a Chatot's tongue is the same as a human's, which allows them to do this; however, as any biology student could tell you, this is patently nonsense. It is in fact the so-called sonic gland at the base of their skull that generates their voices.

    Unlike most other bird-based Pokémon, Chatot doesn't require regular flight; they are fairly sedentary in the wild, luring insects near with their voices and supplementing this with nuts and berries. They are ideal for the lazy, but not for those with secrets that they don't want the Chatot overhearing and repeating; for this reason, I cannot recommend them for mob bosses, politicians or writers of Pokémon guide books.

    Diet: Insects, nuts and berries, as mentioned above. Bird seed is good, but it must be accompanied by mealworms or some similar insect food.

    Housing: They can be house-trained, but not easily; a perch a couple of metres above a tray for their droppings should suffice as a home. Once they have experienced central heating, they won't want to return outside; like mankind, they stay where they are most comfortable.

    Size: Anywhere from one and a half to two feet long, depending on the breed.

    Lifespan: Six or seven years. If forced to exercise, they may live longer – but like many humans, they would rather be lazy and short-lived than hard-working and long-lived.

    Not applicable.

    Breeding: No easy matter; Chatot, partly because they are lazy and partly because they are somewhat coy, don't often display much interest in their own kind. There is some evidence to suggest that music plays a part: try various tracks and see what arouses them.

    Acquisition: As popular pets, Dorian's always carries a large selection, and they are available from chain stores worldwide – but the best are to be found in Sinnoh.



    A rare carnivorous pigeon species, Pidgeotto (Deinopteryga campbell) was the first Pokémon to be investigated by falconry circles, and today it is still the most popular. Fast, intelligent and fiercely loyal, it outclasses most regular birds and half of the other bird Pokémon. In the wild, they can spot a Caterpie in long grass at a distance of two kilometres; in a more domestic setting, this function is useful for spotting approaching Jehovah's witnesses, door-to-door salesmen, or vengeful ex-wives.

    It must be noted that Pidgeotto will accept only one person as their master, and will refuse to obey unless they fly from their wrist and can see their face. Since they often reach weights of six kilograms (Professor Oak claims they weigh thirty, but self-evidently he does not know that this would render them physically incapable of flight), this can be something of an issue; I have often seen falconers with their right arms massively overdeveloped in comparison with the left, from repeatedly taking the weight of the Pidgeotto.

    They are especially adept at catching the insect-based Pokémon, something that regular raptors find difficult; in the wild, these are their main source of sustenance. In fact, Pidgeotto territories often overlap with those of hawks, where one hunts the Caterpie and Weedle and the other hunts the mice and voles. This usually ends badly, for Pidgeotto are prone to jealousy, and if the other bird appears to be doing better for itself than the Pidgeotto is, then it will chase them down and claw them to death.

    Herein we find Pidgeotto's main method of attack: its talons. These are more developed than in any other bird of prey except Pidgeot, being almost as dexterous and powerful as the simian hand. Unlike most other raptors, it doesn't kill with the strike from its swoop or with later attacks once it has carried the prey away; it glides down gently and silently, and crushes the life from its prey with one squeeze of its talons. For this reason, their larger brethren, Pidgeot, are often put to use by assassins, for clinical trials have proven them to be at least as effective as snipers.

    Pidgeotto have a fiercely territorial streak, and it can be hard to convince them that they are in your territory and not the other way around; if they do believe you to be an intruder, they will attempt to break your skull with their talons. They won't succeed, but you will be left with fractures, possible burst eyeballs and a bird that will never respect you for as long as it lives. The best way to train them, I have found, is to train something else simultaneously; as I said before, they are prone to jealousy, and they will vie for your attention and respect to the best of their abilities.

    Diet: Insectivorous, but only the large, Pokémon insects; Caterpie and Weedle are both good, though expensive. It is possible to get them to eat white mice and rabbits, but this must be supplemented by special vitamin tablets, or they will fall victim to Pokémon scabies.

    Housing: Pidgeotto will not come indoors, but will choose the highest tree in the area to nest in and never leave it; make sure it is one near your place of residence. With their intelligence, it is easy to teach them to approach at a whistle or snap of the fingers. It is wise to put a lightning rod on their tree, for otherwise they are prone to being fried during storms.

    Size: Three and a half feet long, around the same size as a large golden eagle; interestingly, golden eagles have created a Pidgeotto-free zone in the north of Britain, indicating that they have some way of killing what ought to be a more powerful creature. Further research is necessary; I plan to bring my children this summer, and make a family holiday of it.

    Thirty to thirty-five years, though the North American subspecies regularly produces specimens that reach sixty.

    Evolution: Pidgey are incapable of hunting anything larger or more vicious than a mouse, and so are not suitable for falconry; Pidgeot are far too capable when it comes to hunting, and regularly prey on humans, wolves and lions. My theory is that they deliberately choose dangerous prey to make themselves seem tougher – though the fact that they very often succeed in their hunts indicates that this toughness is actually real. I cannot recommend them for the entry-level falconer; they are to Pidgeotto as polar bears are to pandas.

    Breeding: The males with the biggest, most colourful crests get the females; pairs form naturally in the autumn, and the males follow the females throughout the winter to make sure that they do not find another mate. In the spring, between six and eight large eggs are laid, of which on average three will survive; the young are cared for by both parents.

    Breeders worldwide carry all the different variants. Studies indicate that the species originates from Kanto, but those to be found there are actually the smallest and weakest of the types, and are, for no adequately explained reason, more prone to neuroses.



    It is rare that I recommend anything larger than a person as a household pet, and I do not do so here: Tropius (Musasaurus foliopterys) is, while reportedly a popular home pet in New Zealand, more suited for those in possession of a small forest. The only reason I include them in this chapter at all is that they are very useful both as a more placid example of the larger, stronger Pokémon and as a source of income.

    Taking money, as always, first, we find that Tropius are perfect for reclaiming scrubland and forest. Their large size and habit of moving in herds means that they often trample smaller weeds out of existence, and larger shrubs and trees constitute their diet – and these they strip completely of leaves and bark, leaving them dead. A herd of Tropius turned loose in a field turned wild will leave it tamed again within a month, and for almost no cost. Renting your Tropius out is a profitable exercise, or at least it is until they get spooked by something and stampede.

    This is something that cannot be glossed over. Tropius are colossal, dim-witted and capable of moving extremely fast when necessary: in short, they are spectacularly well-suited to stampeding. They come from a simpler world, a world where the best response to anything startling is to run or fly as fast as possible in one direction; unfortunately for them and for you the owner, this response is singularly inapplicable in the modern world. Since they are often rented out to farmers or owners of stately homes, they frequently run into the countryside and do no damage – but if even a small group of panicked Tropius reach civilisation, the cost of repairs will not come cheaply. In order to minimise the frequency of your payouts, I suggest you keep either a tranquilliser rifle or a Glaceon on hand to stop them in their tracks when they flee. The tranquilliser rifle requires an annoying licence, but the Glaceon usually leaves them dead; both methods have their disadvantages.

    The other thing about Tropius is, of course, that they produce bananas naturally under their chin. It is, in fact, unclear whether they are actually a dinosaur; some now believe that they are actually a gigantic, ambulatory herb.

    Other than this, Tropius are good preparation for greater things. If one wants to keep Togekiss, Bastiodon, Venusaur, Torterra or any of the other large, more cantankerous herbivores, one should start with Tropius: it has all the bulk and comparatively few of the vices. I used to keep a herd, but once I branched into Camerupt breeding, I ended up feeding them all to the latter; it turns out that they make splendid kindling. Ah, for the days before welfare groups!

    Diet: As explained above, they eat leaves and bark; left outside, they will feed themselves well enough. Curiously, heather seems to be toxic to them, so one might want to consider this beforehand.

    Housing: They come from Hoenn, so they will need a heated stable in winter and at night; they are used to tropical temperatures. Throughout the day, they will be fine outside and eating, unless the temperature is below fifteen degrees.

    Size: Up to thirty feet long – as long as the Loch Ness Monster, or at least as long as the stuffed one in my lounge.

    Lifespan: Up to eighty years, though there is evidence to suggest that intensive periods of flight can cause fatal early heart attacks.

    Evolution: Not applicable.

    Breeding: In autumn, the males joust for females with their necks, which are their primary offensive weapons; unfortunately, evolution has, for some reason, deprived them of their once-long tails, which means they often overbalance and fall over, from which position they struggle to get up. For this reason, the contest for a mate takes an unreasonably long time; if you are serious about breeding them, bring a good book.

    Acquisition: Unfortunately, they are rather rare in the wild and few bother to breed them in captivity; consequently, they are always in rather short supply. Those with contacts in Team Aqua or Magma will be able to get hold of them more easily.



    A step up from a Swellow or Pidgeotto, Braviary (Gigaquila americana) is for the more serious falconer. With it, the prey is no longer Bidoof or Caterpie; this is a bird whose prey in the wild includes Stoutland, Bouffalant and humans, and consequently you fly them at Bibarel, Sawsbuck or hippos.

    At nearly five feet from claws to beak, Braviary is not the sort of raptor one carries on the wrist. They kill less through the sharpness of their talons than their sheer weight; when ten kilograms of angry eagle falls out of the sky onto something's head, it does not usually survive for long. Most have them perch on posts nearby, but I recommend starting the flight from a clifftop; Braviary, with their immense weight and shallow wings, are not strong fliers, and find it hard to get aloft. Once in the air, they're quite reluctant to come down; it takes years of training for them to dive at prey that they don't think they need. The best way to train them is to abuse their immense pride; I suggest getting someone to hurl abuse at them from the sidelines until the Braviary decides to move. Once it is in what is known in the trade as the 'death dive', the abuser must move swiftly, and place whatever the desired target animal is in the spot where they were standing. Repeating this about seventy times usually results in the Braviary connecting the prey animal with the abuse, and attempting to kill them on sight. Use this knowledge wisely; in discovering it, I went through eighteen cousins before finally finding one fast enough to dodge in time.

    It goes without saying that Braviary is not for the beginner. It is advisable for prospective keepers to not only have experience of regular falconry – with a hawk or with a Pokémon – but to be well-versed in the art of dealing with lions, in whose aggressive nature Braviary share. Alternatively, one could wear plate armour, but this will damage the Pokémon's toes when it attacks you (shiny things irritate them), and you will also lose any respect you might have garnered amongst the falconry community.

    Diet: Wholly and enthusiastically carnivorous. Braviary requires its body weight in food each day, and will not hesitate to make up any shortfall out of your torso.

    Housing: Difficult. Braviary can be coaxed into aviaries, but there is no real point; nothing dares attack them in the wild, and they can be left alone to sleep outdoors. The real difficulty is in calling them back again: they like to think that they answer to no man, and so you will often have to go and rouse them from their nests yourself when they do not heed your call.

    Size: The biggest ever is estimated at around six foot six in total length, making it probably the largest raptor since the last Magnificent Argentine Bird died. No precise measurements have been taken, since no one really wants to risk life and limb to take them. More normally, though, Braviary are just over five feet long, counting the tail.

    Lifespan: The Unovan subspecies is marginally more longer-lived; either way, they live for around twenty years in the wild and up to thirty-five in captivity.

    Their young, Rufflet, are fast movers and take a long time to mature; they might have some potential as mousers, but nothing else. Braviary is where the real sport is at.

    Breeding: Braviary are one of those species entirely composed of males, and so it is not known precisely how they reproduce. Some zoologists are mounting expeditions to the mountains to find out, but after six months none have returned.

    Acquisition: Few breed them, but Dorian's usually have a few of the Unovan ones; the really big ones, though are to be found in their native America, and also in parts of Canada – the Denver-based Poké Store has a good reputation.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Like some exhausted phoenix rising from the ashes of half a bowl of cornflakes, I return! (That is to say, I return weirdly.)

    Not sure how long it'll be before I post again, so enjoy it while it lasts.

    Pokémon for Riding

    Pokémon are the most versatile group of animals on the planet when it comes to moving around, and as such make excellent mounts. Forty years ago, the Doduo-riding tribes of the remote hills of West Kanto came into the public eye during their conflict with the government over land rights; since then, Doduo, and, to a lesser extent, Dodrio, riding has rapidly expanded in popularity all over the globe. It is now second only to horse riding, and this means, of course, that there is big money to be made in keeping a flock around for rentals.

    But Doduo riding is but one path among many: there are Pokémon that can bear you into the sky, or across the sea. Lapras has long been the most popular method of Pokémon sea transport, but there are others, too – Relicanth, Mantine and Blastoise are all excellent (and often less expensive) substitutes. Blastoise racing in particular has taken off in the extreme sports community; contestants stand atop a cliff facing backwards and fire their shell-cannons as hard as they can, giving themselves a rocket-propelled head start.

    This is not to exclude the flying mounts that are, despite their obvious dangers, becoming more and more popular. However, there are two main problems with riding a flying Pokémon, one being the danger of falling off and the other being the fact that flying Pokémon large enough to carry a person tend to be the sort of Pokémon that actually eat people. Salamence, Altaria, Staraptor, Garchomp – all are large, often fairly sadistic predators, and as such are not truly safe for riding by any but the most experienced keepers. The only one I might ever recommend is Togekiss, and only then when it is thoroughly broken in; their aversion to conflict often means that if they see an unpleasant event occurring, they roll over, tip their rider off their back and fly away alone, never to return.



    Doduo (Dinornithis duocephalus) is a close relative of the extinct moa, a large flightless running bird native to New Zealand; the main difference between the two is that somewhere in the genetic code of the earliest Doduo, a mutation arose that caused the duplication of the head. For whatever reason, the mutated form apparently out-competed the single-headed form, and now it is the only species of Doduo to be found. In short, Doduo as we know them are an extremely lucky accident.

    What of riding? That is, after all, the reason Doduo are mentioned here. They are naturally fast runners – they can reach 60 miles an hour unencumbered, around the same as an ostrich – and, when carrying a person, can attain a top speed of around 30 or 40. Do not make the common mistake of thinking they can fly; they have no wings, and therefore can do no more than jump. This deplorable error is once again the fault of Professor Oak, who notes in his Pokédex that both Doduo and Dodrio are capable of flight; further proof, if any was necessary, that having a degree does not confer immunity to being a moron.

    Riding a Doduo is different from riding a horse, or even riding an ostrich. Once one has got onto its back – a not inconsiderable challenge in itself, given that Doduo are rather timid, and have a habit of sliding out from under you – it will immediately panic, even if it is very well-trained; this is a primaeval response evolved many millions of years ago that, it seems, cannot be repressed – at least, not without further eugenics programmes. In its panic, it will start running at top speed, find it cannot with you on its back, and stop dead, confused. At this point, your Doduo will be very susceptible to suggestion, and so you may take the time to convince it that everything is all right.

    It then becomes quite easy to walk the Doduo around, and more inexperienced riders will be tempted to accelerate straight away – but this is inadvisable, as a Doduo moving at any speed other than a walk or a gallop throws its weight violently from foot to foot, dislodging its rider and usually resulting in some sort of spinal injury. Since paraplegic clients often do not return for a second ride, you might wish to warn them against this. If one can move swiftly through the mid-stage and into a gallop, the Doduo will straighten out both of its necks and run flat out. This will be marginally more comfortable than the mid-stage, somewhat less dangerous, and approximately five times as fast.

    Diet: It is inadvisable to give them a choice of food; the two heads will not agree about which one to eat, and this will result in paralysis, as both brains will be transmitting conflicting signals to the body.

    Housing: As a horse; however, only one head sleeps at a time, the other one continuing to take the body around and feed, and so Doduo does not need a stable unless the weather is very cold.

    Size: In the wild, they seldom reach more than five feet in height; however, generations of selective breeding on the part of the Kantan hill tribes, and further genetic experimentation in certain Soviet bloc states, have left them closer to seven or eight. This renders their bones more fragile but makes them far more ridable; just don't crash.

    Anywhere from 30 to 70 years; in the wild, seldom longer than 36.

    Evolution: Only for the brave. Dodrio riding is considered by some to be an extreme sport, and by others to be suicide; they run at well over 90 miles per hour, and tend to reduce most of the bones in their body to powder if they trip.

    Breeding: Difficult; both heads have to agree that they want to mate with the potential partner, and the same goes for the other Doduo. They are prone to a curious disorder known as bicephalic narcissism, where each of the two heads falls in love with the other; this often leads to complications, and more often than not broken hips.

    Acquisition: Fairly easy. Doduo are ranched all over the world, especially in Kanto and, curiously enough, in Mongolia; anything that can be ridden was generally domesticated by the Mongols.



    An unlikely addition to this list, Rampardos (Brutocephalus perditor) is an exceptionally easy Pokémon to race. Male ones perceive any large, fast-moving object as a potential rival in love, and charge it at full speed; this is not particularly fast, but since their skulls weigh the same as a small rhinoceros, most things that they meet break on impact. A member of the dinosaur family known as pachycephalosaurids, Rampardos are far less timid than Doduo, so riding them is easy – it is stopping that proves the hard part.

    One might consider Rampardos too dangerous for the sane person to ride, and one would probably be correct; however, there are often times when one needs to make a swift exit through the nearest wall, such as when one is discovered in Professor Juniper's laboratory at four in the morning for sound reasons that cannot, for whatever reason, be discussed with the police. Alternatively, you may enjoy the feeling of riding the Pokémon equivalent of a bulldozer crossed with a sports car; it certainly makes one feel more powerful, as long as you have swift enough reflexes to dodge the flying debris.

    There are, of course, several problems with Rampardos racing, by far the most popular of their (admittedly few) uses. One is the fact that no one may stand by the sides and watch, for they will distract the Rampardos and therefore become a new target. Another is that if any of the Rampardos see each other, they will attempt to prove their dominance in what they perceive to be a herd in the only way they know – a headbutting contest. This usually flings the riders over the heads of their saurian mounts, with the comical result that they smash their heads together; funny for the bystanders but less so, as I'm told, for those involved.

    How does one overcome these problems? The best answer is that you shouldn't. Rampardos have been extinct for over 65 million years, and frankly the world is better off without them, especially the parts of it that have buildings, people or any breakable objects at all in them. If you really must race Rampardos, though – and do consider safer alternatives such as tiger or Garchomp racing first – then you should have each beast run down its own sealed-off, reinforced-concrete corridor, following some sort of moving target. If you have the money, this can be a mechanical device; if not, you may wish to set up operation in a less economically developed country, where it is often possible to obtain a stock of replaceable street urchins to perform this role for you.

    Diet: Despite the claims of esteemed Professors Rowan and Oak that Rampardos chase prey through the rainforest, Rampardos neither dwell in the jungle nor eat meat: they belong to a group of mainly herbivorous dinosaurs. It hardly seems necessary to point it out at this point, but serious errors of this sort occur with alarming frequency in texts published by established Professors, and so you are probably better off throwing them out and just keeping this one instead. Returning to the topic of Rampardos feeding: they come from an era before grass had evolved, and require tough, fibrous shoots and shrubs to subsist on; they also enjoy large insects such as Yanma or Beedrill. Do not make the common mistake of giving them Scyther, Pinsir or Heracross; Rampardos only take insects live, and each of those three large species of bug are more than capable of putting a sizeable dent in your herd (something that, given their temperament, may be no bad thing).

    Housing: Pits work well as enclosing devices, if only because they cannot ram their way out of them. It is uncertain whether or not Rampardos are warm-blooded, as attempts to sedate them require tranquilliser darts, the pain of which makes them angry enough that they run until they drop dead of heart failure, and consequently very few details of their anatomy are really well-documented. Upon death, of course, they revert to stone, as all so-called fossil Pokémon do. Most Rampardos live outside full-time, which might help you; experiments I conducted indicate that they freeze to death in the Arctic, and submit to sunstroke in the Gobi desert, so maintaining their quarters at heat levels somewhere between these two extremes might be desirable.

    Size: Around five metres long, though their tremendous bulk means they can weigh up to two tonnes.

    Lifespan: They often succumb to heart attacks and adrenaline poisoning, which is usually a blessing for the owner; if they manage to survive these, they could well live for twenty or thirty years.

    Evolution: Cranidos have a tendency to break when sat on, which makes them unsuitable for riding. Some celebrities have attempted to use a Cranidos as an exotic pet, but they aren't suited to it, owing to their fondness for kneecapping passers-by with their skulls.

    Breeding: Not difficult, but males have a tendency to kill each other over females, and females, not wanting to miss out on a fight, will often charge into the fray and end up killing the victor. Left alone, a herd of thirty or forty will produce about twenty-five eggs between them, and approximately ten or twelve of them will die or be seriously injured in the process.

    Acquisition: The scientists at Sinnoh's Oreburgh Museum are the only source; they have been producing Cranidos since 1985, at around the time of the cloning revolution. In fact, that was the source of the wild stock that lives in the badlands south of Oreburgh; when, as was inevitable, several Rampardos escaped the holding pens, they fled there and settled, forming a herd that no one really dares go near these days.



    Neither a turtle nor a tortoise, Lapras (Pseudopaleochelonis princeps) is a unique aquatic glyptodont, the only surviving member of this once-widespread group. More closely related to armadillos than to tortoises, they have since time immemorial been used as sea transport; it was on Lapras-back that the Aboriginal Australians first arrived on what is now their native soil, and the first Kantan colonists reached Kanto. The species has also been an inspiration to poets and writers without number: undoubtedly, it is the basis of several sea serpent legends (although Gyarados played its part there too) and also provided Hugh Lofting with the idea for the Great Glass Sea Snail, of Doctor Dolittle fame.

    They have a reputation for tremendous gentleness and sagacity, which arises from the fact that most members of the species that you will ever meet are domesticated; in the wild, Lapras are fast and cunning predators, filling a similar role in Quarternary oceans to that of Tylosaurus in the seas of the Cretaceous. If ever you see a Lapras on a beach, it is inadvisable to approach, since it is probably birthing, and, in common with many human mothers, it will assume that anyone within a four-hundred-foot radius of its progeny is about to steal or devour it. In fact, it is best to call the local authorities; failure to properly inform people has caused rather a large number of fatalities over the years – especially in Cornwall, where wild Lapras have learned to play dead on beaches so that they can catch and eat the humans that come to check if they are all right.

    That, however, is somewhat immaterial. What we are interested in is riding Lapras, and I am relieved to say for once that this is extremely easy. Lapras born in captivity and broken in early are very docile unless provoked; their long centuries of association with man have more or less entirely removed their fears of us. Lapras are happy to move along on the surface of the water, where you can breathe, and a well-trained specimen can be steered with a touch on the right or left side of the head. They are rather elegant, and suitable for dressage, but don't expect any wild rides; without submerging, Lapras rarely attain any great speed.

    Diet: Meat, and lots of it. They are fond of seals, but will take fish, and in fact most animals from the ocean. Their favourite is dolphin, but you may well wish to deny them this treat, as people these days tend to complain quite vociferously when you feed live dolphins to anything.

    Housing: Lapras must be kept in groups of at least five, or they will die of what appears to be loneliness; consequently, keeping them is tricky, as they all need food and space enough to stave off disease and stay healthy. Loch Ness has proved an ideal location: huge and deep, it is also connected to the sea. If you have a similar sea loch, then by all means keep your Lapras there; otherwise, you will have to fence off a bay from the surrounding ocean or something similar.

    Size: Approximately five metres long; their immense shells mean that they weigh rather a lot, but also prevent them from collapsing under their own weight when on shore.

    Lifespan: Very long. No one is entirely certain what the maximum limit for Lapras life is, but there is one that has been in the British Royal Family's possession for at least two hundred years; it may well be that Charlie, as he is known, will surpass the famed Adwaita in terms of age. The thing to take note of here is that a Lapras is a long commitment; even more than a puppy, they are not just for Christmas, but for life, and your children's lives, and your grandchildren's lives.

    Evolution: Not applicable.

    Breeding: Sporadic. Despite their long domestication, no one is quite sure how to induce Lapras to breed; they simply do so every so often. The mother is then left by the father to look after the young, and does so with great vigour and much bloodshed for about four weeks, at which point she abandons it.

    Almost anywhere; most countries have a Lapras dealership in them somewhere. Those from northern waters tend to be stronger and fitter; Icelandic breeders have a good reputation.



    As we come to the end of our list, we come naturally to Togekiss (Stegoptera pacifis). I have tried to avoid mentioning it so far, because it seems to me that trusting one's continued existence to a temperamental chunk of feather and bone is not a smart move, but popular support for flying is growing and the best I can do is to offer what wisdom I have gathered from my own Togekiss-related misadventures.

    Togekiss are afflicted with a terrible fear of anything that might disturb the peace. If they could be persuaded to fight back, they might make admirable policemen, but no; when they see something that seems like it could cause strife, they simply divest themselves of all weights – which usually means the rider – and drift away through the sky, to seek some more peaceable area to dwell in. Understandably, since they live in a world now dominated by humans, Togekiss are running out of suitable places to inhabit, and suicide rates are hitting an all-time high as some of them, unable to bear existence in such an angry world any longer, resort to the Hemingway Solution. It is inadvisable to own both a shotgun and a Togekiss.

    In terms of actual steering, Togekiss are quite easy to fly; they are intelligent and highly sensitive, and if you can't always make it clear where you want them to go, they will try and interpret you as best you can. This has occasionally caused some problems at aerial dressage contests, where I remember one partially-deaf Togekiss attempt an unwanted loop-the-loop, launching its rider spectacularly into the judges' stand and killing three people. I would include a photograph, but the police confiscated my camera; it seems that hanging around until three in the morning taking pictures of smashed corpses is a crime now. I later heard that the Togekiss involved flew head-on into an oncoming bus in order to atone for its crimes, and that, since two passengers died in the resultant crash, its entire family sacrificed themselves in order to make up for it.

    It should by now be clear that Togekiss are not the easiest of animals to keep. Keep a DVD of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse handy to lift their moods. On no account let them watch Bambi; studies show that they tend to implode under the weight of the depresion that overcomes them.

    Berries and happiness. Berries are easy to obtain; happiness, not so much. Try a clown or other children's entertainer; their happiness is only superficial, but it'll do the job.

    Housing: If Togekiss wants to leave and cannot, it will die of unhappiness. It is probably better to keep inside the house, where they can feel loved and ruin the furniture.

    Size: For some reason, wild specimens die before reach maturity, but in captivity Togekiss can reach up to seven feet in length.

    Lifespan: Uncertain. No Togekiss has ever died of natural causes.

    Evolution: You cannot ride a Togetic, or a Togepi for that matter. Attempts to do so are taken very seriously by the Pokémon welfare authorities.

    Breeding: It only occurs during times of great peace and jubilation; if you live in a country with a monarchy, the Diamond Jubilee is probably a good date to pick. If not, try a wedding; the more happy everyone around them is, the more fertile Togekiss become. Breeding Togekiss, as you might imagine, requires a lot of planning.

    Acquisition: Difficult. Togekiss breeders rarely stay in one place, travelling continually to find happy places in which to mate their Pokémon. Your best bet is to search online, and find their travel routes on their websites.
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  • 50
    • Seen Jul 6, 2013
    I enjoy reading stuff that I might find if I were to pick a book at random from a library in the Pokémon World, so this piece is right up my alley.

    It's especially interesting that both Pokémon and ordinary animals seem exist in this setting. Yes, this was a fun read.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    What's this? A new chapter? Could it be... the holidays have arrived?

    Pokémon for Training

    Pokémon Training is the reason Pokémon were originally domesticated: the exploitation of their unique capabilities as fighters. For over four thousand years, we have pitted super-powered monster against super-powered monster in mortal (or, in recent years, not-so-mortal) combat; animal rights activists come and go, but Training is here to stay. In this chapter, I suggest how one might start off a career or hobby as a Trainer.

    First of all, I must dissuade you from the usual choices. Pikachu, for some unfathomable reason the symbol of Training, is far too temperamental for a beginner; the number of people killed by their recalcitrant electric mice must now be roughly equivalent to the amount of money my wife took from me in the divorce settlement. I also must caution you against choosing a Charmander or Chimchar, or other creature visibly on fire; they have a habit of burning things down all around them. This is fine in the non-flammable stony mountains in which they dwell, but tends to be a large hazard when bringing them inside buildings. Finally, for the sake of variety, I ask you not to bother investing in any of the other traditional 'starter' Pokémon; they have all been poached to near-extinction for the sake of beginner Trainers, and I happen to have a certain vested interest in their continued survival.

    What should one be looking for, then, if the usual options are closed off? My answer would be this: find a Pokémon that is tractable, eager to fight, mindful of when to stop attacking, not easily bored by repetitive training sessions and not too difficult to house. If you can find such a thing, I'd appreciate it if you let me know; to my knowledge, there is no one creature that ticks all the boxes.

    I started my own career as a Trainer with a Pawniard, which in retrospect was a bad idea; I could potentially have spared several lives had I begun with a nice Sandshrew or similar Pokémon. Avoid these mistakes: choose something from the five I recommend, and you cannot go wrong.



    About as safe a creature as you could wish for, Burmy (Mutocorpus trifecta) is the weakest Pokémon actually capable of battling. It will never harm a human, partly because it is afraid of them and partly because it is physically incapable of breaking human skin. This is one reason I recommend it; the other is that it is inexpensive, and if it should die in the heat of battle, is easily replaced. There are also no laws against Burmy abuse, which means that you can push them far further than other Pokémon; however, they do tend to literally fall apart if you push them too hard, being mainly made out of leaves.

    If this occurs, simply store the Burmy in a cool, dry place and keep out of reach of children; after a day or two, it will have rebuilt itself and its cloak using whatever materials it can find. This can be entertaining, if nothing else; I once saw a Burmy made entirely out of used syringes that it had obtained from a heroin addict. It was rather effective in battle, if only because its opponents always inexplicably fell ill partway through the fight.

    They are very docile, and though not particularly bright, will learn most commands within a couple of weeks. Despite their lack of fighting spirit, they usually make a brave-hearted attempt at winning a fight; they appear to have a sense of pride, and will redouble their efforts if this is wounded by the opposition.

    Diet: Leaves, particularly those of the umbrella thorn acacia tree. In the wild, they never encounter the umbrella thorn acacia tree, but they like it well enough in captivity. They also have a liking for berries, and will steal them whenever they can. This isn't often, since they are physically incapable of carrying them, but it is good to know about these things.

    Housing: Not really an issue. Burmy can be kept virtually anywhere, as long as it isn't cold, and they won't complain; they will, however, chew through any paper, leaves or holistic medicines they find, so you may wish to keep them away from these. They will also attempt to replace their cloak to blend in with their surroundings, so don't keep them in an area where items are expensive to replace, such as a jewellery box or watchmaker's kit.

    Size: Very small; the largest on record was only just over a foot long. Easy to fit inside your hand luggage on long-haul flights.

    Lifespan: Approximately five months; longer if they evolve.

    Evolution: Female Burmy command a higher price than males, and this is because they are capable of evolving into three different forms, whereas males are confined to the more usual one. Which you choose is up to you; both have their advantages – or, to speak more accurately, both have their disadvantages. We are talking about Wormadam and Mothim, remember.

    Breeding: Burmy cannot be bred, which leaves you in the tricky situation of having to breed a Wormadam with a Mothim. This is difficult, but not impossible; however, it is best left to the professionals.

    Easy. They are found in both cities and the countryside in at least eighteen countries; being adept at concealing themselves, they have spread well across the globe aboard ships and aeroplanes. If you want a really fine specimen, though, the American dealer Tunsford & Sons is an excellent choice.



    By far the most unintelligent Pokémon in this chapter, Sandshrew (Manis terravora) is the only species of pangolin to also qualify as a Pokémon by the standards of the World Pokézoology Confederation (WPC). It has been said of them that they are the only creatures dim enough to attempt to copulate with fire; while this may be something of an exaggeration, it is certainly accurate that they have trouble learning the difference between their Trainer and their opponent, or, in extreme cases, between their Trainer and meatloaf.

    Why, then, have I recommended Sandshrew if it is so stupid? The answer is its tenacity, and its safety. Very few people manage to injure themselves with a Sandshrew – about the only way I can think of is to roll it into a ball and throw it at someone's head – and no matter how hard it finds the task, it will never give up trying to learn a move, if only because it lacks the brain to think of something else to do. These qualities make it an admirable first Pokémon for the Trainer, and the fact that it gains large claws and razor-edged plates when it evolves only sweetens the deal.

    Owing to their lack of intellect, Sandshrew are often not aware of how badly injured they are in battle, so they do require constant monitoring to avoid their driving themselves to death. If you do this, though, you should have very few problems, especially as Sandshrew are surprisingly effective against most other so-called 'starter' Pokémon: their solid bodies and heedless mindset mean that they shrug off enemy hits without so much as flinching, and their counter-attacks are strong. They also possess a wide range of different attacks, always useful and uncommon among basic Pokémon. Close up, they defend themselves with their claws; when further away, they are renowned for their Poison Sting, which they use without apparently caring that they have no poison whatsoever to use for it.

    Diet: Insects, predominantly; however, unlike the rest of the Pholidota family, Sandshrew does not care for ants or termites. They are happy with mealworms and well-minced dog food, for the most part – though for a really sleek specimen, I recommend vitamin tablets as well, as Sandshrew are prone to catching colds anywhere outside of the desert.

    Housing: As its name suggests, Sandshrew is most at home in sand, and its house ought to reflect this. They don't need a lot of space (they often forget what their homes look like, so each part of it seems perpetually new to them) but the sand must be deep enough for them to burrow in, or they will become unhappy. The house must also be heated, or they will catch colds in their sleep; they are desert animals, and prefer the heat.

    Size: Not too large. They average at a couple of feet long; there is supposed to be a gigantic twenty-foot Sandshrew that swims through the sands of the Gobi Desert and feeds on people like a crocodile, but this is probably not true – Sandshrew cannot swim.

    Lifespan: About fifteen years, give or take a few months; they ought to retire from battling by the time they are twelve, or they are likely to drop dead due to heart failure. Of course, this may be exactly what you desire, in which case I know of an excellent therapist. They may live up to twenty years if they evolve.

    Evolution: There is no reason not to. Once you have honed your skills on a Sandshrew, a Sandslash is the obvious next step: the same creature, but a little bigger, a little longer-lived and equipped with rather splendid claws.

    Breeding: Tricky. Sandshrew find it very difficult to tell males and females apart, and tend to approach any potential mate very cautiously. If you really want to try, it is said that they breed best during times of drought; I tried not giving either of my Sandshrew any water for a month, but all this did was kill them, so this may not be true.

    Acquisition: Pet stores around the world carry Sandshrew, but excellent specimens are to be had from Kanto's Pokémon dealerships. Alternatively, you could try the Mongolian sub-species, which can be purchased inexpensively in Ulan Bator, but I have heard that they are, if anything, more stupid than their Kantan relatives.



    Mention the Dragon type, and the eyes of any red-blooded male light up immediately; they are exactly the sort of creature people think of when they think of Pokémon: large, fearsome and capable of both hacking a man to pieces and incinerating him with their breath. However, such creatures as these are not for the starting Trainer, and so we start with one of their smaller cousins, Axew (Acutasecuris draco minor).

    Axew is as tame as dragons get: a small tusked creature no larger than the average Sandshrew, affectionate and relatively intelligent. The only drawback is the cost: rare even in their homeland of Unova, Axew cannot be obtained for less than a thousand dollars, although they do last a long time in the manner of dragons.

    In battle, they are enthusiastic, if not always victorious, and will cheerfully rush in close to attack. This is not always the best course of action, but one can't fault their intentions. They have a tendency to put rather more faith in themselves than is strictly warranted, and often attempt to overpower vastly superior foes, such as Machamp. It is wise to hold them back, if you wish them to remain long in the realm of the living.
    When their tusks break, they regrow slightly stronger than before; a common trick is to repeatedly take a hammer to them, in order to build up their strength for fighting. Some question the morality of this, but the Axew don't seem to mind any more than would anyone having a tooth pulled without anaesthetic; I personally don't see anything wrong with it.

    Diet: It loves berries, surprisingly, and lots of them, too. It comes as a surprise to many that there are herbivorous dragons, but its entire evolutionary line is much fonder of fruit than of meat, although it will accept the latter if offered.

    Housing: They are hardy creatures, coming from the wild mountainous regions of northern Unova, and easily house-trained; they can live with you like a dog, but they tend to become rather too attached to their owners if kept this way. Far better to keep them in the garden, where their enthusiastic tusk-fighting practice will keep them safe from predators – though you could create a wire pen to house them in if you were particularly worried.

    Size: Similar to Sandshrew, but not so heavily built; Axew are the scampering rather than the plodding sort.

    Lifespan: Around thirty years, but close to eighty if evolved once; if matured to Haxorus, they will probably outlast you with a maximum lifespan of one hundred and eighty years. Even for a Dragon-type, this is exceptional, and research is currently being undertaken to find out precisely what it is that confers such longevity upon them.

    Evolution: A long and difficult process, which is why I recommend Axew for the beginner, who will be ill-equipped to deal with a six-foot-tall axe-mouthed dragon. They don't mature to Fraxure unless their body perceives that they are continually threatened, and so they must be battled with daily to even begin the process. After that, it takes even longer for them to become Haxorus; because of the strain that such long lives impose on their bodies, they are reluctant to evolve any further. It is true that during the last forty years of their lives or so, Haxorus become more retiring and unwilling to fight – but make no mistake, they are still very much capable of doing so.

    Breeding: As far as I am aware, Axew have not been bred in captivity, which adds to their rarity.

    Acquisition: Try the expert trappers in Unova; Thom Mitchum has a very good reputation as a dragoncatcher, as does Vanessa Ketanne. Do not, however, expect their services to come cheap: each expedition will take around a month, and they put themselves at considerable risk to find them.



    Snubbull (Phobocanis incisivus) is famed for two things: its ferocious face and its charmingly affectionate nature. In truth, it is not an eager fighter, and mainly relies on its naturally frightening appearance to scare off its enemies. However, when it does engage in battle, it is very capable, and possesses a remarkably strong bite. I remember that I once saw a Snubbull bite clean through a man's shin; it was around that time that I decided I probably needed a change of career.

    Once you get it used to battling, Snubbull is perfectly decent. It often intimidates its opponents – provided they are small enough to actually be intimidated by a two-foot pink bulldog – and this gives it an edge it needs, as the weight of its head and the many folds of skin that hang from its body mean it is slow to move. When it does land a hit, though, the enemy most certainly feels it: the same large head that makes it slow is a formidable weapon.

    Outside of battle, Snubbull is very playful; it is fond of children (in the socially acceptable way, not the way that Lombre is fond of children) and will cheerfully submit to being hugged or pushed about. Unfortunately, children are not fond of it, or at least not of its terrifying face, and it will often spend all day lumbering after fleeing playmates; if nothing else, this at least proves the strength of its loyalty, misplaced though it may be.

    Snubbull are prone to Rowan's Syndrome (see Appendix I) and it is advisable that you take them to a qualified Pokéveterinarian at least twice yearly to nip any potential disease in the bud.

    Diet: The harder the food, the better – Snubbull delight in the power of their jaws, and take great pride in being able to crack open coconuts with their molars. As predators, however, it is wise to stick to a mainly meat-based diet, preferably with the bones still in it. Like children, Snubbull can become addicted to sweets, especially gobstoppers, which they crunch up whole; the resultant tooth decay compromises their biting power, so I advise strictly rationing any treats you choose to give them.

    Housing: In the home, like a dog or a slave-child.

    Size: Between two and three feet tall. Those from Johto tend to be taller.

    Lifespan: About fourteen years, just long enough for you to get very attached to it before it dies.

    Evolution: Inevitable. At around seven years of age, Snubbull begin to mature to Granbull; when kept as a pet, this is often the end of a loving relationship, because Granbull are far larger and more intimidating. This is a pity, because they are equally loving, despite now possessing jaws that crocodiles weep in envy for. For a Trainer, of course, evolution is a blessing, since the Pokémon are left more powerful and equally loyal.

    Breeding: The sexes normally display little interest in each other, preferring to consort with humans than with their own kind; however, when a female comes into heat, males from miles around will flock towards her, very slowly.

    Acquisition: Their popularity as house pets means that they are easy to get hold of; most pet stores carry them. Those obtained from their ancestral homeland, Johto, are usually a little taller and more solidly-built, though – always useful in a fight.



    The most 'friendly' of all the Psychic-type Pokémon, Ralts (Psychovorus familiaris) is always a firm favourite with beginners. When it forms a bond with a human, it does so for life; this is commonly mistaken for friendship, but this is not so: Ralts is a parasitic emotivore – that is to say, it attaches itself to a person and feeds on their emotions.

    Do not let this put you off, however. Because they can only feed on positive feelings, and because their only source of them is you, they have a vested interest in keeping you alive and happy, and will do whatever they have to in order to ensure you stay that way. For the Trainer, of course, this means winning battles – and this, combined with their high intelligence, means they are very easy to train.

    Physically very frail, Ralts are adept at wielding mental attacks from an early age, and their strength increases as the emotions of their Trainer (though a better word might be 'host') become more positive. When a Ralts begins to win, therefore, it starts off what is termed a positive feedback loop, where the Trainer's reaction furthers the Ralts' power, which increases the reaction, which increases the power, and so forth.

    However, Ralts are very easy to injure, something that I've found Trainers don't always appreciate. If facing one in battle, 'accidentally' slaying it may prove a useful demoralising tactic to use against the opposing Trainer.

    Diet: Not a problem; they feed themselves. If you find yourself suffering depression, however, I recommend having the Ralts removed. This can be done easily and inexpensively with a small-calibre handgun.

    Housing: They will follow you everywhere; locking them away will not stop them, as they are adept at teleportation. Since they excrete nothing except mild synaesthesia, there should be no problem with them coming with you.

    Size: They grow with the amount of emotive power they receive, but their height is capped at around three feet tall; at this point, they begin to evolve.

    Lifespan: Uncertain; Ralts seem to live as long as their host, and perish immediately upon their death.

    Evolution: This occurs when Ralts has stored enough energy to invest in transformation. Further evolution to Gardevoir occurs in the same way; however, if you use a Dawn Stone on it and turn it to a Gallade, you must be wary of the fact that the parasitic link is severed: Gallade actively hunts emotion, splitting open its prey's head with its blades and draining the feelings away directly.

    Breeding: It does not seem to be possible. Both male and female Gardevoir occasionally duplicate themselves, but the mechanism by which they do this is unknown. Gallade display no sexual interest in them at all; instead, they seem to regard them as a particularly choice form of prey, packed as they are with emotions.

    Acquisition: Hoenn is the only known place where Ralts and its relatives are naturally found. There have been some reported sightings in Sinnoh, but these must be regarded with a healthy dose of suspicion, for everyone knows that the Sinnish are not to be trusted.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Leisure and Sport

    If one can use it for murder, one can use it for fun: Pokémon, ever adaptable, are as useful in the field of recreation as they are in that of large-scale destruction. There are some species stoic enough to play the straight man at the circus, and others intelligent enough to grasp the rules of soccer; there are even some that are perfectly capable of beating humans at poker. (It turns out Slowking have no tell.) And if there is one thing that science has taught us, it is that if we can do something then we ought to do it, and preferably before anyone has a chance to ruin our fun with clinical trials.

    So, what sort of qualities are we looking for in a leisure Pokémon? It all depends on how we're using it. The circus requires something outwardly ferocious yet in actuality rather tame, or something that looks amusing; sport, something with speed, stamina and intelligence, yet not so much strength that it breaks the other competitors; chess or cards, something with a large intellect and preferably without the physical strength to back it up if it comes to a fight.

    This obviously encompasses a very large range of creatures, and so for the sake of brevity I shall only include five of the most popular at the time of writing. I must advise, however, against the use of Luxray in the circus: all too often, they are seen as a more exciting alternative to lions, when in fact they are far more dangerous, being so sure of their superiority to humans that nothing short of execution can deter them from treating us as prey. Though there are a fair few humans who espouse this attitude as well, it cannot be allowed in circus animals and inevitably leads to a spate of violent deaths.

    In addition to this, I have noted with alarm the rise in the use of Yanma as beaters in the world of hunting. Though their loud wingbeats and high speed mean they are adept at alarming game, they lack the intelligence to comprehend that this is where they should stop, and tend to regard all the animals that appear as their prey. This has led to a large number of incidents in which Yanma have contested the kills of the shooters, and owing to their ability to fly horizontally, backwards and vertically while still accelerating, most hunters are not good enough shots to take them out before they reach their throats. It is best to stick to dogs, Growlithe or unimportant people for use as beaters.



    Moody, introspective and otherwise similar to the average human teenager, Gothitelle (Futuravidens juniperi) should by now be familiar to anyone with a television set: famously represented by the specimen known as Elise, they are accomplished chess and poker players, and their tournaments are broadcast throughout the Western world. The really good ones are worth thousands, and earn their owners thousands more through their victories; unfortunately, the vast majority, like many humans, have either no talent or no interest in competitive gambling, and so do not do nearly as well.

    The real trick is finding a good one before anyone else, and there are certain ways to tell: when purchasing a Gothita (for you must raise a Gothitelle from its youth in order for it to acknowledge you as its master), you should conspicuously set down your wallet or mobile phone unguarded. The one that steals it is the one to go for: that will be the one who is interested enough in reward and personal gain to bother to learn how to play.

    Keeping and training a Gothitelle (or even a Gothita) is much like raising a small child with the mood swings and vanity of a teenager and enough psychic power to crush a child's head without touching it: in other words, fraught with difficulty, and occasionally fatal. We are firmly out of Eevee territory here; this is more akin to keeping a tiger.

    What should one do? For a start, work around the Gothitelle. If it is tired, stop training; if it is hungry, let it eat. A spoiled Gothitelle is a happy Gothitelle, which is infinitely more desirable than an angry Gothitelle. It is also more likely to actually try to win tournaments for you; if they don't get what they want, they tend to deliberately use out of spite.

    Gothitelle do have the added benefit of being able to imprison people within dreams generated by their own memories, something that I gather is of considerable use to supervillains.

    Diet: It is uncertain what Gothitelle actually eat, since no one has ever observed them eating, and autopsy has never revealed any trace of a stomach. Recently their discoverer, Professor Aurea Juniper of Nuvema University, has suggested that they do not actually exist in a physical sense, instead being a form of sentient shared hallucination. As yet, the scientific community has not yet come to a consensus as to the truth of this.

    Housing: In the home, like a person. If treated as anything other than a member of the family they may well decide to be your enemy, which is never a good thing.

    They exhibit sexual dimorphism: males are usually around five feet tall and females can reach six feet, although it is rare to see any taller than five foot six.

    Lifespan: About thirty years.

    Evolution: Very necessary. For a Gothitelle to even consider trusting you, you must raise it from a Gothita, to give yourself the maximum possible time to prove to it that it is in its best interests to work with rather than against you.

    Breeding: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink; much the same thing is true for Gothitelle and potential mates. Like humans, they are usually rather selective about their breeding partners, searching for the most beautiful with unwavering diligence and optimism. Their standards of beauty, interestingly, do not correlate with those of humans; they prize thinness of the limbs above all things, signifying as it does that the Gothitelle in question has such powerful mental powers that it barely uses its arms or legs. They then require a brief period of courtship, after which they have a short but extremely passionate love affair. After this, the two Gothitelle go their separate ways and refuse to see each other ever again.

    They live in small family groups in Unova, deep within the forests near Nimbasa; there are a few specialist breeders around, but not many. You could always try Dorian's in Castelia.



    No longer as timorous as a Mudkip and not yet as murderous as Swampert, Marshtomp (Tylocrocodilia gigantea) is the thinking man's circus animal: flamboyant, impressive and very, very stupid. It will happily stand there while someone pushes a custard pie into its face, or trips it up in the ring. Alternatively, it is happy to wrestle someone – but equally happy to lose on demand. As long as it is fed every day and is allowed to sit motionless in muddy water every so often, it will remain happy and generally well-disposed to all those around it.

    With a temperament like this, it is a wonder that any Marshtomp reach maturity – but that would be forgetting that they do, of course, evolve into the most feared swamp predator in Hoenn, and that buried deep within their primitive brains is a crafty and violent predatory instinct. If you do manage to offend your Marshtomp (and it can be done) then it will do its best to drag you down to the bottom of its pond and simultaneously beat and drown you. To avoid this undesirable turn of events, I suggest not doing anything to your Marshtomp that will definitely cause it real physical pain, as it will usually take this as a sign of aggression. Anything short of this is classified as 'play' by most specimens.

    There is very little else to say about Marshtomp. If treated well, something that is easy to achieve, they are tame, docile and otherwise content with whatever their lot in life may be. The only reason I cannot recommend it as a house pet is its prodigious strength (do not make the mistake of teaching it to high-five; I have already explored that avenue, and discovered that it leads to nothing but shattered wrists) and insatiable appetite for raw flesh and horsetails, a unique and rather expensive diet, especially considering how much of the stuff it can get through in a week.

    Diet: As mentioned above, this is quite a problem. If allowed to, it simply won't stop eating; it prefers meat, but likes to supplement its diet with horsetails for no adequately explained reason. Since both of these are produced by the average Haxorus farm (see the article concerned for more information) you may wish to place a standing order.

    Housing: A large pit is the best solution, lined with metal or concrete to prevent them burrowing out. They do not like to live in groups, and it is better to keep them alone.

    Size: Between three and four feet long, not counting their large fins, which may add anything up to two feet onto their length. Do not be deceived by their relatively small size: they are incredibly strong, and perfectly capable of killing their trainers if they want to. Wrestling matches need to be carefully choreographed.

    Lifespan: Around twenty years, though they can live for longer if they evolve.

    Evolution: Not desirable. Swampert are among the top predators in Hoenn, possessing immense bulk and strength, and the bull-headed brave idiocy to best capitalise on it. In that sense, they are rather like a number of professional sports players, though more prone to devouring people who come near them.

    Breeding: The spring rains bring Marshtomp into the mood to mate, and for the first couple of months of the season they will search tirelessly for a partner. If they find none, they will settle down again; if they do find one, however, they will perform a rather beautiful courtship dance that is wholly out of character for such clumsy amphibians. After this, the pair will retreat down into their pond, where the female will release a cloud of up to thirty eggs and then leave the male to fertilise and guard them. This makes Marshtomp one of the few amphibians to guard its young – although the father will lose interest when his progeny hatch. He will regain it a few weeks later, though it will by then be a purely gastronomic concern, and he will eat them if he finds them. It is prudent to collect the young and raise them yourselves.

    Acquisition: It is said that Professor Alan Birch of the Littleroot Research Facility recently conducted some research into Marshtomp breeding behaviour that has left him with approximately 900 baby Mudkip on his hands; he would probably be grateful if someone were to take some away. Alternatively, you could try one of the stores in Fortree City, where the dangers of jungle predators such as Swampert are well known, and which is therefore built entirely in the treetops.



    Perhaps the only Pokémon that is truly capable of providing limitless entertainment, Zorua (Nigerovulpus umbra) is, along with its mature form Zoruark, one of the most unusual Pokémon so far discovered. In appearance, it simply appears to be a small, slightly rotund black fox – but that is only when its illusions are broken, and these illusions are the basis of their practical applications.

    Zorua illusions are taking the world by storm: more immersive than even 3D television or cinema, they are the very latest thing in entertainment. They function by using the power of several Zorua to generate a large illusion all around the viewer, placing them inside whatever story they are currently viewing. In other words, these small, nondescript foxes can generate an entire virtual reality without the need for expensive computer equipment, or for technology that does not quite exist yet. I visited an illusion theatre last week, purely in the spirit of scientific inquiry; they were showing the illusion version of Jurassic Park, and I have to say that actually being on the island made events considerably more exciting than in the film version, even if several members of the audience did come rather close to being eaten by the raptors.

    As the world is still just on the brink of the Zorua entertainment revolution, there are relatively few illusion theatres out there, and there are fortunes to be made in setting them up now, just in time to catch the point at which they become the dominant form of entertainment. Never mind that some research links repeated prolonged exposure to Zorua illusions to brain cancer; never mind that overuse of illusion may turn out to lead to a loss of the ability to distinguish fantasy and reality; this new area of entertainment is a goldmine, and the discerning miner needs to get there ahead of the rush.

    Zorua are relatively intelligent – more so than most dogs – and have excellent sensory memories, meaning that they are capable of remembering most of a film after it has been shown to them just one or two times. From this memory, they can be trained to reconstruct the experience as an illusion; for large-scale theatre productions, this will probably require at least ten or fifteen Zorua. Resist the temptation to use Zoruark, despite their superior illusion-making powers: they will always slowly warp the illusion into a dark and terrifying horror show, with the intent of driving those within it mad with fear in order to make them easier to catch and kill.

    I recall one such incident in London a few months ago; while watching a heart-warming rendition of Love Actually, the Zoruark backstage began sending various sinister messages to the characters, who slowly became more and more paranoid until they joined together and committed group suicide in a most brutal and unpleasant way that involved far too many eggs for a Christmas film. By this point, the audience were desperately trying to get out, but were suffering the illusion that the doors were blocked by heaps of corpses, and three of them were killed and dragged away by the Zoruark before the police turned up – whereupon the illusion, and the Pokémon generating it, vanished. Owing to the excellent powers of disguise common to its species, that particular Zoruark is still at large somewhere in the city; the police did ask me as a specialist to help them search for it, but I politely refused, since the police and I have something of a history, and ever since the incident in Ealing I've taken great pleasure in watching them struggle.

    Zorua is a relatively recent discovery, having been hidden from the world for a long time by its illusions; this is why these theatres are only now attaining widespread popularity. Now that they are in the process of doing so, it seems likely that they are here to stay.

    Diet: In the wild, Zorua feed on large insects and small mammals; I suggest a balanced diet that incorporates all three food groups: squishy bugs, bony rodents and hard-shelled bugs. Caterpie, rats and Karrablast is the usual solution.

    They are physically rather frail, relying on their illusions both to lure in prey and drive away predators; they are therefore rather sedentary, and do not need a large space to run around in. This has the advantage of allowing a battery-farm-style system to be set up, where your Zorua live in small, stacked containers in the back room of the theatre. It should be noted that they should be let out of this room and the door to it concealed whenever an animal welfare inspector visits.

    Size: Vulpine.

    Lifespan: Seven to twelve years, just long enough to see in a good dozen major blockbusters. However, those in illusion theatres appear to have a reduced lifespan for some reason.

    Evolution: Zorua evolve only if placed under extreme stress; be careful not to agitate one too much, or you will end up with a Zoruark on your hands – which means increased intelligence, strength and cunning, which in turn means serious injury or death.

    Breeding: Unfortunately, Zorua are rather coy in captivity; this is the only serious downside to running an illusion theatre, since they do not often breed. This may have something to do with their living conditions; I am right now in the process of carrying out an experiment to see if Zorua kept in battery conditions breed any less readily than Zorua kept in virgin forest, and expect results as soon as I can find the ones I put in the forest.

    Acquisition: Since they are native to Unova, there is naturally a stock at Dorian's; however, they can also be acquired (for an exorbitant sum) in the major cities of America and Japan, where illusion theatres have taken off in a big way.



    Once, a circus could boast a pack of ferocious lions; now, with the rise of animal welfare laws, the closest one can get – and it is an admirable substitute – is a Liepard (Prionailurus imperator). The largest known species of leopard cat, and the only one to count as a Pokémon, Liepard is a lithe and dangerous beast, adept at appearing at unsettling times and striking down its victims from behind. I recall once waking up in the middle of the night in an Unovan motel to see a Liepard sitting calmly at the end of the bed, staring at me with unblinking eyes. We looked at each other for a moment, and then, without any warning or provocation, I shot it in the head. It now serves as an impressive rug in my drawing-room.

    That is beside the point: we are interested in the potential applications of Liepard in the circus. It actually enjoys being in close proximity to humans, and many specimens are unspeakably vain; these two points have led to legislation that make it legal to use it in circus acts, as long as it is not abused – and indeed, the man who tries to abuse a Liepard is a fool, for they have long memories and creative imaginations. I remember reading about one occasion on which a Liepard that took a dislike to its trainer got its revenge a full twelve years later, at the grand old age of twenty, by swallowing a pint of kerosene and dying halfway through a stunt involving a jump through a ring of fire, which resulted, predictably enough, in a rather spectacular end to the evening's festivities.

    If you can manage its vanity and occasional murderousness, however, Liepard are an excellent legal substitute for lions in today's circuses, and well worth the investment.

    Diet: Meat, most commonly rabbits and trainers who offend them.

    Housing: If fed and kept entertained by their training, they don't move much, and so do not require too much room; if they are restless, it is because they are bored, and if they are bored, it is a sign that they may soon go on a killing spree. Since you will probably want to avoid this (although it can serve as a useful smokescreen if you need to commit a murder yourself) you should probably aim to keep them occupied.

    Size: They are, as previously stated, the largest of the leopard cats, and can reach twenty-four inches at the shoulder, placing them at a similar sort of size to a snow leopard.

    Lifespan: Ten to fifteen years in captivity, although some have been recorded at twenty. In the wild, they rarely live past six or seven.

    Evolution: Purrloin could be kept as a domestic pet, but, being childish and immature, it is even more fickle and prone to betrayal than Liepard, and could well decide to chew its owner's throat out during the night. No, stick to the Liepard, and keep the species well out of the home.

    Breeding: Fairly easy; once a Liepard has mated once, it will go and immediately have an affair to spite its partner. This results in the most duplicitous Liepard having the most offspring and being the most evolutionarily successful, which accounts for the treacherous nature of the species as a whole.

    Acquisition: They are found throughout South-East Asia, though they were accidentally introduced into Unova by the British in the nineteenth century; consequently, they are in good supply worldwide.



    Long since trained in Johto for their skill at dancing, Jynx (Voluptas psychopomp) are ascribed the role of leading the recently deceased to the underworld in old Johtonian mythology, and one can easily see why: their dances are mesmerising, and can attract almost anyone to join in.

    Today, their skills as dancers are in as much demand as ever, in a wide variety of situations; they are also excellent badminton players, since their erratic movements make them extremely difficult to predict. For some reason, they are recorded as doing especially well against male opponents.

    Aside from these talents, Jynx are known for their peculiar language, a combination of words and dance that has been described as resembling High School Musical sung in a mixture of Spanish and Korean. It is thoroughly incomprehensible to all and sundry, but it hold a peculiar fascination for young children (especially girls) and linguists (especially men).

    Jynx do not, on the whole, particularly like humans; they seem to regard the species as stupid, owing to the fact that we cannot understand what they say while they clearly can understand what we say. However, they have the advantage of mild telepathy to help them out, while we unfortunately do not (although I did once manage to convince a mob in Andorra that I could predict the future, which allowed me to make good my escape before they discovered the diamonds were missing). If raised in captivity from a young age, though, a Jynx will have no such reservations about humanity, having never learned the language of its species, and may even attempt to learn to speak English – though they don't appear to be capable of mastering the language. One or two has been reported to be fluent in Sinnish, but this hasn't been verified, and anyway, as I have said before, we must always take reports from Sinnoh with a pinch of salt, as it is a country of knaves and charlatans.

    Very little, considering their active lifestyle. They like fruits when in season, but not vegetables; in winter, they occasionally resort to eating meat to survive. Make sure your Jynx is well-fed during the cold seasons of the year: there are occasional reports of owners being partially or wholly consumed in countries such as Sweden. These may be exaggerations, and you can rest assured that I will be performing experiments with Jynx and migrant workers at various temperatures to test these stories.

    Housing: Despite being Ice-types, Jynx do not particularly like the cold. They will live in it, and historically have had to because the warmer lands are already occupied (and jealously guarded) by humans, but they prefer to live indoors. They are highly intelligent – worryingly so, in fact, because some, the Einsteins of their species, insist on fully furnished apartments to live in, and leave their owners to try and become functioning members of society.

    Size: Human, but broader, and with proportionally far larger eyes, hands, lips and breasts – the former two to find their way in the dark, and the latter two to seduce men, a commodity that their species lacks.

    Lifespan: Thirty to forty years in the wild, but up to sixty in captivity.

    Evolution: Smoochum is by definition immature; it is tiny, and far less skilled at dance and badminton than its evolved form. If you obtain your Jynx as a Smoochum (and ideally you should) then you should raise it to maturity.

    Breeding: Mysterious. They are an all-female species, and seem to reproduce mostly by parthenogenesis; however, there are some reports from China that their scientists have had success breeding them with Machamp. The thought of the resultant offspring is enough to stop me ever visiting the country again, though presumably they make excellent bouncers.

    Acquisition: They are found predominantly in Johto and Kanto, in the hills of the mountain range that divides the two nations. Specialist breeders exist in both countries, though the Johtonian ones have more of a history behind them, which some find reassuring.


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Pokémon for the Zoo

    The zoological garden is a tradition that stretches back millennia; there were menageries in Rome and Babylon, and kings and potentates without number have put together collections of animals for their entertainment. However, adding Pokémon to the mix is often a dangerous move for the unwary; think of the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, caused by an ill-starred attempt on Nero's part to add a pair of Charizard to his collection – or the collapse of the Rhodes Colossus in 226 BC, the work of a lone escaped Tyranitar.

    It is obvious that there are some species that simply cannot be kept safely. We can add most of the dragons to these: Dragonite, Gyarados, Charizard, Garchomp and Hydreigon are all far too powerful to keep in the conventional sense. It is true that at least the first three of these species have been tamed (or perhaps 'rendered less wild' would be more accurate) by the reigning Indigo League Champion Lance Sørenson, the so-called Dragon Master, but it must be remembered that he is an exceptional case.

    In addition to these species, we must add Tyranitar, the notoriously cantankerous and surprisingly small dinosaurian Pokémon; also Muk, which has an irritating habit of oozing through even small-mesh wire and subsequently engulfing visitors. I recall one zoo where they kept a Muk in a sealed glass container, which solved the issue; however, they could replenish neither its air nor its food, and consequentially it perished in the agonies of suffocation.

    It seems there are plenty of Pokémon that one cannot keep – what of those that you can? The primary objective of the zoo is supposed to be to entertain, to research and to establish captive breeding populations for those creatures that are scarce in the wild; while such work is in theory to be commended, I shall pass over it here in favour of the way of thought that suggests a zoo ought to contain the biggest, most impressive and most beautiful animals, while keeping to a minimum of danger*.

    How can one find a big, impressive Pokémon without it being dangerous? Even a small one could well kill a visitor if it felt like it; larger ones tend to be even more powerful, and less good-natured. This is a difficult question to answer, and my response to it after several years as a consultant in such matters is to build strong cages, don't encourage petting, and, if you can, get each visitor to sign an indemnity waiver as they enter the zoo. (I once knew someone who managed to get this trick into the ticket-buying process; fifty visitors a year arrived and never departed, and no one did a thing for four years, when the deaths stopped. Entirely coincidentally, that was when the zoo's Drapion died, apparently from a build-up of tooth fillings in its throat that choked it.)

    Ultimately, what you want to consider is containability. A zoo Pokémon must, as has been mentioned, be large and impressive – and for your part, you must be able to contain it. Believe it or not, there are a few Pokémon that people will want to come and see that can be (relatively) safely held behind bars; it is with these, and a couple of the more tempting lethal ones, that I concern myself here.


    Big, bad and dangerous to know, Krookodile (Suchomimus megoculus) is the first truly big predator that we will cover in this book. Approximately the same size as a grizzly bear – discounting, of course, their long tail and gigantic mouth – they are the terror of the Unovan desert, roving alone over the dunes in search of distant prey. They also have the advantage of having markings over their eyes that greatly resemble sunglasses, and this, coupled with their general fearsomeness, makes them rather popular in zoos.

    As ever, though, there is a caveat: Krookodile are highly carnivorous, and in the wild have a reputation for not letting prey go once they've seen it; should yours escape, then it will most likely kill at least one visitor. It may regard the crowds of fleeing humans as something of a game laid on for its entertainment, and endeavour to see precisely how many it can kill; unless you particularly enjoy having your source of revenue closed down, you really ought to try and avoid this.

    Of course, a Barrier-reinforced enclosure is a must, but there are further complications. Krookodile is a Dark type, and Barrier is a Psychic-type move; it will break through the bars far faster than other creatures of equivalent strength owing to the type advantage. In addition to this, its proximity continually wears down the Barrier even when it is not directly attacking it, and it will have to be reinforced frequently.

    If your Krookodile does get out, though, you will have to take a different tactic. They are not overburdened with brainpower, and if you can present them with something confusing they will stop dead to ponder it. Given their extraordinary eyesight and ability to zoom in its vision, optical illusions work well; anything that appears to vibrate or wobble when stared at will make them completely forget what they were doing, and induce a trance-like state. Keeping the image in front of the Pokémon's eyes, you can then simply walk it back into its enclosure and patch up the fence. Do take care to remove the image afterwards, though, or they will remain staring at it until they starve to death.

    Diet: Like crocodiles, Krookodile can go a long time without food; the less they are fed, however, the more torpid they will become, until eventually they enter a state of suspended animation and wait for more bountiful times. On the other hand, feeding them too much will fill them with enough energy that they will start wanting to chase things, especially visitors and unfortunate zookeepers. A steady stream of small meals is the way to go, with each meal being composed entirely of red meat – or interns, which are notably cheaper.

    Housing: Strength is key. You will want essentially a flat dirt area with perhaps a tree or two to break the monotony and provide shade, but otherwise furnishings are unnecessary; the only real consideration with Krookodile is keeping them firmly behind bars. Do not make the common mistake of adding pools to its enclosure; it is not a crocodile, however much it might resemble one. Water makes it angry, and you would not like it when it is angry.

    Size: Around two metres long from forehead to the hindquarters; double this if you include the long snout and tail.

    Lifespan: Being members of the crocodile family, Krookodile are naturally long-lived; this is further compounded by their great size. They regularly reach seventy, and on occasion have been known to reach a century. Growth rings in the teeth of one Krookodile in the Castelia Zoo, known by staff as 'Methuselah', show that it is at least 120 years old, and possibly older.

    Evolution: There is not much entertainment to be had in exhibiting Sandile, which are not nearly as impressive or indeed as active as Krookodile; they are also far more timid, and will spend most of their time hiding under the sand. If you wanted a good compromise between safety and awe factor, I would suggest Krokorok, but I would venture to suggest that he who chooses Krokorok is taking the coward's way out.

    Breeding: Inadvisable. The female is fiercely protective of her eggs, and Sandile are possessed of emitting a certain shrill squeak that alerts all nearby adults of the species to the fact that they are in danger – and being so very nervous, are rather prone to using it. Since Krookodile have excellent hearing, entering the exhibit might well become impossible until the Sandile mature to Krokorok, at which point the parents will probably stalk and kill them. I am told that Krookodile breeders suffer a great many sleepless nights.

    Acquisition: They are fairly common in zoos worldwide, and there are always new-bred captive specimens to be had via the zoo exchange network.



    Three tons of stone with arms, legs and teeth, Golem (Lapicorpus ferox) are indisputably one of the single hardest species to contain in the world. Capable of breaking through almost any wall, burrowing through concrete and leaping over fences via explosive propulsion, they are a formidable threat to the stability of any zoo environment. For once, though, this is not because they are liable to eat guests; Golem are exclusively herbivorous, and rather gentle. No, the real danger is that their armour is so very strong that they do not care at all what obstacles lie in their path, and will cheerfully walk through walls and roll down streets, freeing other animals, crushing people and causing an enormously expensive amount of damage.

    By this point, you are very probably wondering what has possessed me to include Golem in this book; it seems untameable, uncontainable, and generally undesirable. The answer is, of course, that properly-kept Golem are possibly the biggest source of money that your zoo will ever house. Once a year, the great spherical shell that houses their soft body collapses into its constituent boulders, to allow for further growth. (Golem steadily increase in size as they age, much like lobsters; also like lobsters, they appear to display negligible senescence.) The important thing here is that Golem shells are composed of a mixture of granite, calaverite and sylvanite – the latter two being gold-containing compounds. I doubt I need to spell out what this means for your zoo's finances, but I shall just point out that in this sort of situation, experience at embezzlement does come in handy.

    Actually, I recall one instance where I was called in as a consultant for London Zoo, and managed to catch someone red-handed in the act of stealing gold ore; as I remember, I didn't hand him over to the authorities, but I did have to take an abrupt and lengthy holiday immediately afterwards.

    Diet: The renowned Professor Oak holds that Golem and its relatives subsist solely on rocks, but has perhaps neglected to consider how much nourishment an animal can actually derive from stone. They do eat pebbles, it is true, but only to supplement their shells and to help grind the tough, fibrous plants they live on.

    Housing: One would expect strength to be key here, but it is in fact cunning. Golem are rather dim-witted, and tend to solve most problems by rolling into them. They should be kept in pits, the sides of which are comprised of steep slopes set at an angle of precisely 56°. A tall, sturdy fence should be put up around the rim of this pit; while useless for containment purposes, it does prevent guests from falling in, which tends to be make for bad PR.

    The system works on the premise that should the Golem attempt to roll up the slope, they will lose momentum and roll back down; should they attempt to roll through the slope, they will find themselves directed inexorably upwards (and then back down again) by the gradient. Some Golem are, of course, intelligent enough to realise that they can climb the slope with the aid of their strong claws and limbs, and in cases such as these you would do well to take a leaf from the books of such notable rulers as Idi Amin and Joseph Stalin, and have them executed as an example to the others.

    They grow continually throughout their lives, but the shell-shedding process, which involves not only removing their outer carapace but the rocky lining of their throat, tends to kill a great many of them. Consequently, it is unlikely that you will ever see one above six or seven feet tall.

    Lifespan: They tend not to make it past fifty years, though certain specimens have been recorded as up to one millennium. It seems that if they avoid illness and shedding-related fatalities, their lifespans are more or less unlimited.

    Evolution: Golem are one of those Pokémon that react peculiarly to the energy fields of a Poké Ball, and when in the possession of a Trainer must therefore be traded to evolve; however, in their natural state (which, in a zoo, they will be) they mature naturally from Geodude through Graveler to Golem over the course of six years.

    Breeding: Haphazard, to say the least. Being perfectly spherical with stubby limbs and no external genitalia makes copulation almost impossible for Golem, though it has to be said that watching them try is very entertaining. It resembles a game of self-propelled bowls, and usually results in at least one broken limb on the part of one participant.

    Amusing as it may be, it is best to keep the sexes separate until they shed their shells – when, soft and fleshy, they can successfully mate without risk of injury.

    Acquisition: Geodude are found worldwide in large quantities, and so all members of their family are relatively inexpensive. The real cost is in the housing – or, if you live in Northern Europe, where the Gigalith family have created a a Golem-free zone, the price of importing creatures that are tragically prone to scuttling cargo ships and destroying freight planes.



    The last surviving giant marsupial of Australia, Kangaskhan (Simosthenurus deinognathus) is a familiar fixture in zoos and so-called 'Safari Zones' worldwide, where her massive bulk, imposing presence and surprising agility have made her as popular as the elephant or the lion. She is also, incidentally, the only Pokémon that I find holds any real attraction for me; my first ever experiment was conducted on a Kangaskhan, and yielded the valuable information that, deprived of any progeny to care for, these creatures do in fact seize the nearest smaller animal and maintain their sanity by pretending it is their child. (I think perhaps three weeks was longer than my wife would have liked the experiment to continue, but as I later told her, she had made an invaluable contribution to science.)

    Kangaskhan are the largest species of kangaroo, and have forsaken the more familiar hop of their smaller cousins in favour of drastically increasing their bulk. Their size means that they lack all predators save the likes of Allan Quartermain; clinical trials have shown that bullets of a surprisingly large calibre simply lodge harmlessly in their skin and muscle. In fact, they hardly even feel anything below a .455 – though an overzealous assistant of mine did discover that most rocket-propelled grenades cause them serious injury. I believe it was at around this time that we had to leave the zoo.

    Kangaskhan is a surprisingly peaceful creature, as long as her young is left alone, and will not give the cautious zookeeper too much trouble. However, as with many human single mothers, the pressure of looking after her baby will get to her at times, and she will abandon it as far away from herself as possible while she spends a few days letting off steam by means of senseless violence and occasional heavy alcoholism. This is actually the basis for an interesting phenomenon explored at greater length in the 'Breeding' section, but for now I shall content myself with cautioning you not to allow any alcoholic beverages near the Kangaskhan enclosure, or she will stop at nothing to get at them.

    Diet: Exclusively herbivorous. A large proportion of their bulk is gut, for the digestion of the tough shrubs they habitually eat.

    Housing: Though their large size means they need a certain amount of space, I do not recommend you give them too much, or they may end up not finding their young again after abandoning them – which has detrimental effects on both mother and child.

    Size: Seven or eight feet tall, though the herd matriarch often reaches nine.

    Lifespan: Thirty to forty years.

    Evolution: Khubb evolve into Kangaskhan slowly during the third year of their life, if not abandoned. However, if the mother fails to take them back after a few days, their bodies rapidly degenerate owing to a lack of the essential nutrients they gain from their mother's milk. The skin flakes from their face, as does the majority of the muscle; after a few days, most of their skull is exposed, and the necrosis has spread across their body, leaving it brown and decaying. This form is known as a Cubone, and is a famous looter of graves for bones to use as weapons; oddly enough, it does not die, but evolves further into a beast known as Marowak, which is ninety per cent grave earth and ten per cent nightmare fuel. In order to ensure your visitors actually return for a second visit, or indeed to prevent them being stalked and killed, you may wish to ensure that any unattended Khubb are returned to their mothers before they begin to display any symptoms of necrosis.

    Breeding: No male Kangaskhan has ever been discovered. They appear to reproduce solely by parthenogenesis, though they seem to have unusually labile DNA that means there is always a little genetic variation between them and their offspring. As for breeding a Marowak; well, at the time of writing, no one has yet dared to try.

    Acquisition: Easy enough. Kangaskhan are so common in zoos and safari parks across the world, and so readily bred, that plenty are available on the exchange programme.



    Large, spectacular, and incredibly dangerous is the theme of this chapter, and Galvantula (Fulgorachne unovana) does not buck the trend. With a maximum legspan of nine feet, they are capable of tackling prey as large as an Unovan hippopotamus – though they rarely attack directly. They belong to the trap-laying family of spiders rather than the hunting, and prefer to play with their food before eating it.

    It is inevitable that your Galvantula will fill their enclosure with their characteristic pale yellow webs, and so I must recommend full-body insulation for the keeper who looks after them: each web is connected via a series of slender strings to the Galvantula's main nest, where it sits and waits to feel the vibrations of whatever hapless creature stumbles into one of the traps. This in itself would not be cause for insulation, except that Galvantula's response to these vibrations is to send pulses of electricity down the lines, repeatedly electrocuting the hapless victim in the web.

    At this point, the spider likes to emerge from hiding to watch its prey twitch; it seems that it enjoys the convulsions the electrical discharge induces. For this reason, Galvantula also take pleasure in watching interpretive dance, although they do tend to assume that the dancers are trapped prey and therefore fair game to eat. There is even one specimen in Antwerp that appears to have some appreciation of ballet, though this seems to have arisen from the fact that it has lived exclusively on swan for its entire life. Attempts by dancers' unions to have it put down – or at least barred from the theatres – have failed; nicknamed 'Danserverslinder', or dancer devourer, it has become something of a national icon, much beloved of the public for no adequately explained reason.

    Diet: They aren't fussy. Once their prey is finally dead, they inject concentrated enzymes into them and reduce their insides to a drinkable consistency. If you overfeed them they will build up a larder of stored corpses, which tends to cause nightmares in the public and subsequent loss of revenue; therefore, I recommend one Royal Bengal tiger per week per group of three. If you belong to that group of people who don't have ready access to large quantities of illegally-imported Royal Bengal tigers, I suggest cows.

    Housing: Galvantula are excellent climbers and very capable diggers, and can hang from almost any surface; for this reason, they must be kept behind plate glass, or they will certainly make their way out when they tire of the scenery. Males are solitary, but females will happily live in groups of three or four, ideal for display.

    Size: Up to nine feet across the legs.

    Like many tarantulas, they are rather long-lived for an arthropod; they take eleven years to fully mature, and females may live for many years afterwards. (Males die soon after mating, and so do not often survive past five.) The oldest on record died at the age of thirty-four, but most live for eighteen to twenty years.

    Evolution: Joltik take a year or two to develop into Galvantula. During this childhood period, though, they are much more active and characterful – even displaying signs of affection. Unfortunately, this prompts some to buy them as house pets, with the predictable result that in eighteen months' time they end up dancing the electric tarantella hanging from the ceiling of their attic.

    Breeding: As simple as introducing a male to the enclosure. It will mate with each female in turn, then attempt to leave. At this point, it is probably best to put it down, as it will slow down, lose its hair and perish within a month, its life's work accomplished. There are a great many retired men who I wish would follow the same principle; I intend to do so myself on completion of this book.

    Acquisition: They are found throughout Unova, though the fossil record shows a sister species once existed in Iceland. No one is entirely certain why this species died out; it was larger, faster, more cunning and longer-lived than its Unovan counterpart, and the top Icelandic predator. The prevailing theory at present is that it got bored.



    The third Unovan predator of the list is also, surprisingly, the least dangerous. Druddigon (Bucerebrum gargouille) is naturally a lethargic creature, being a very primitive species of dragon that lacks the warm blood of its more advanced cousins (think of Dragonite or Salamence, for instance). Its 'wings' are in fact thermoregulatory devices similar to the famous sail of Dimetrodon or the plates of Stegosaurus – the predecessors of the wings of present-day dragons and Dragon-types.

    Because it spends so much of its time warming itself in the sun, Druddigon is only active in the afternoon, when it is capable of moving at speed to chase down prey. For the rest of the day, it will sit on its haunches at the highest point it can find, wings spread and head lowered in the pose that has since been adopted as that of the Gothic gargoyle. It can remain utterly immobile like this for hours on end – though if a large enough crowd gathers, many specimens like to jerk suddenly into life and leap forwards, roaring loudly. It is best to keep the elderly and those with cardiac conditions away from Druddigon's quarters.

    Though usually placid (after becoming habituated to their keepers, some specimens will even consent to being fed by hand) Druddigon can be roused to an extraordinary state of rage if something angers them. While under the bloodlust, as it is referred to in the business, they will attempt – and very usually succeed – to destroy everything they can find, including (but not limited to) the furnishings of their enclosure, the walls of their enclosure, their keepers, the guests, the other animals and, if you happen to be on-site, you. Since their natural tolerance for pain is dramatically increased during this state, they are almost unstoppable, and the only way to do so is either to kill them or to break their limbs.

    Thankfully, this state may easily be avoided. All you have to do is avoid annoying the Druddigon. This means not coming too close to it when it wants to be alone, not allowing guests to crowd around the enclosure when it is trying to sleep, not feeding it too little, not feeding it too much, keeping any annoying biting insects away from it, remembering to serve its food at precisely the same temperature as its body, not staring into its eyes, not baring your teeth in its presence, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter, and making sure that no other animal ever upstages it. If you avoid these minor inconveniences, then there should be no problems whatsoever.

    Diet: Anything with a pulse. Not being particularly intelligent, Druddigon tends to let its stomach do the thinking and will happily attack even enemies many times its size.

    Housing: Whatever you use to contain it, a Druddigon under the bloodlust will break it; consequently, it is best to use its natural laziness against it, and make its enclosure as comfortable as possible. Make sure it can be higher than everyone else, preferably on an imposing rock, and it will be loath to move.

    Size: Five feet at the shoulder, and about nine over all.

    Lifespan: As with most Dragon-types, Druddigon are naturally long-lived, typically maturing by the age of thirty and reaching one hundred and twenty before dying.

    Evolution: Not applicable.

    Breeding: Owing to their sandpaper-like skin, Druddigon avoid mating if at all possible; this is probably the cause of their rarity. If you want to breed them, I suggest keeping a fire extinguisher handy; the friction tends to cause them to catch fire.

    Acquisition: They are to be found throughout Europe, in the mountainous areas favoured by their species. Occasionally, they turn up in cities, which, like rock doves and peregrines falcons, they seem to mistake for cliffs. These sorts of mistakes usually have tragic consequences, like Madinat az-Zahra or Pompeii.

    *You may choose to disagree with me here. After all, if there is one Scolipede loose in the zoo and no one knows where it is, it does keep both guests and staff on their toes, which may be ideal if you don't wish them to linger.


    The Fresh Prince of Kanto
  • 82
    Pikachu, for some unfathomable reason the symbol of Training, is far too temperamental for a beginner; the number of people killed by their recalcitrant electric mice must now be roughly equivalent to the amount of money my wife took from me in the divorce settlement.

    Hee. This entire tome is ridiculous, succulent and wonderfully fridge logic-y all at the same time, but that part up there. That killed me (recalcitrantly).


    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    Hee. This entire tome is ridiculous, succulent and wonderfully fridge logic-y all at the same time, but that part up there. That killed me (recalcitrantly).

    Glad you like it. Unfortunately, we're coming to the end of Coriolanus' ramblings, but it's good to know that you read and enjoyed it.



    Gone. May or may not return.
  • 1,030
    It's always best to quit before a series dies.

    Closing Notes

    Through this book, I have guided the would-be keeper of Pokémon from the learning of the basics up to the keeping of the biggest and most dangerous animals anyone can reasonably hope to contain. Innumerable experiments were conducted, tremendous amounts of knowledge obtained for the cause of science, and, I hope, the greatest edition of this guide so far has been the result. I offer only one final piece of advice: steer clear of Pikachu and the Dragons. Obeying this simple tenet – along with not smoking, eating well and never marrying – can extend a man's life for a surprisingly long time.

    This book is the summation of a life spent in close contact with Pokémon. If you can't trust my word, you can't trust anyone's; the name of Coriolanus Rowland is known throughout the world, albeit often as that of a wanted criminal. (This is, while I have the chance to talk about it, a gross misrepresentation of the facts. I simply took the most direct route to the top of my profession, without necessarily taking into account whether it was the most legal.)

    Now, of course, there remains nothing more than for me to wish all those of you who wish to become Trainers, or farmers, or even simply pet owners, the best of luck in all your endeavours.