Dorklyst: The 10 Weirdest Evolutions in Pokémon!

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The entire concept of having animals evolve into insanely-powerful beast monsters by beating the crap out of others in battle (or by being exposed to stones, being traded, etc.) is pretty ridiculous in and of itself. But it’s not too difficult suspending your disbelief when the end result is a fire-breathing dragon who remains loyal to you (despite the fact you’re forcing it to fight a bird who shoots lightning). But there are some specific evolutions that are extremely weird, even in the already-weird field of Pokemon evolutions. These are the 10 weirdest evolutions in Pokemon.

10. Cubone into Marowak

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Cubone’s life kinda sucks – he’s so upset at the death of his mother (remember, this is an entire species of Pokemon, meaning they all are bereaved over the deaths of each of their individual mothers), that he literally wears her skull, which may not be the most emotionally-healthy coping tactic. Then again, in some deeply, deeply messed up way, his mother is still protecting poor little Cubone – since her skull now acts as his helmet. It’s definitely indicative of some kind of creepy Norman Bates/Mother relationship, but it’s mostly harmless.

Where it gets weird is when Cubone evolves into Marowak. Essentially, Marowak’s just a bigger Cubone, which isn’t all that weird. What is weird is that Marowak is defined by having gotten over the death of its mother (remember: AS A SPECIES, Marowaks have ALL gotten over the deaths of their individual mothers), but stillwears a skull on its head. But it’s specifically NOT its mother’s! Meaning…Marowak found some random dead Pokemon’s bigger skull and is wearing that now? Something tells me Marowak hasn’t quite reached the closure it claims to have.

9. Fish That Turn Into Entirely Different Kinds of Fish

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A lot of Pokemon have weird evolutions, where the following form bears little resemblance to the original. But, for whatever reason, this seems a lot more pronounced in a lot of fish Pokemon. Carvanha (a Pokemon resembling a piranha) evolves into Sharpedo (a Pokemon resembling a shark – which is not a type of piranha). Maybe this was just a weird in-joke, since the film Piranha was a cheap rip-off of Jaws? What’s weirder is Magikarp and Feebas, two fish Pokemon that look very similar, each evolve into things that are not really fish at all. Magikarp notably turns into a Chinese dragon-looking thing called Gyarados, and Feebas turns into some kind of majestic eel known as Milotic.

There are actually a lot more examples: Remoraid (which resembles a pet fish) turns into Octillery (an octopus). The normal Poliwag to Poliwrath evolution chain can take a total left turn and evolve into Politoed (which is a frog, instead of a weird blue thing with a spiral-patterned stomach). Clamperl (a clam/pearl combination, shockingly) turns into some type of eel, either Gorebyss or Huntail (depending what kind of item you make Clamperl hold onto). Then again, I don’t know a whole lot about fish, so maybe clams turning into eels is the norm under the sea.

8. Baby Pokemon Who Just Start Hanging Out

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Let’s say you’re hanging out with two friends. Fun, right? Oh, also one other thing: DID YOU REALIZE YOUJUST EVOLVED INTO A HIGHER LIFEFORM? Because you did. Well, at least according to the rules of Pokemon, where three Digletts equal one Dugtrio that can be treated as a single entity.

7. Voltorb into Electrode

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Basically, Electrode is just a bigger version of Voltorb, but the top and bottom colors have been switched for some reason. It seems pretty arbitrary, and is definitely odd, but not necessarily odd enough to get itself on this list. What’s real weird is that it gains a mouth too. Where there was no mouth before (essentially just a Pokemon with eyes), it now has a mouth and teeth and everything. The existence of a mouth at all indicates it needs to eat and breath. How that was happening when it was a mouthless Voltorb is a mystery for only the bravest Pokemon fanfic writers.

6. Geodude into Graveler into Golem

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Geodude and Graveler follow a pretty normal evolutionary pattern: it starts out as a little rock creature, it grows into a bigger rock creature. But something weird happens when Graveler evolves into Golem – it turns from a creature made entirely out of rock to a what looks like a lizard-like thing trapped inside a boulder. The point is, it goes from all rock to some kind of organic creature living inside a rock, like when Dwayne Johnson emerged from The Rock.

5. Pokemon That Hold Different Things

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With evolution comes the use of more complex tools – this is evident in the fossil records of humanity’s own history. However, “holding two spoons instead of one spoon” is a little different twist on that concept. In the transition from Kadabra to Alakazam, the Pokemon grows a bit, but the primary difference is that it is now holding one additional spoon. Likewise, the “urr” line of Pokemon from Black/White (Timburr, Gurdurr, and Conkeldurr) get bigger and stronger, but tow different types of beams along with them (wood to steel to rock, respectively). Why each species has a specific type of beam is a little strange – surely Conkeldurr (side note: these Pokemon have some of the most insulting-feeling names) would do better with a steel beam than a couple of rock ones, right? Nope – he’s evolved now, so he has to use rocks.

It could be worse, though. Poor Farfetch’d holds a leek normally, but in his evolved form he – OH WAIT, Farfetch’d doesn’t HAVE an evolved form. It’s stuck holding an onion as its only weapon for the rest of eternity. Someone get that Pokemon some Burn Heal.

4. Munna into Musharna

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Munna and Musharna look largely similar – the primary difference is that Munna is defined by eating dreams, while Musharna is defined by…emanating a mist from its forehead packed with the dreams it had eaten. So, in other words, when Munna evolves, it farts out all the dreams it had eaten…out of its face. Basically, it’s just completing a single digestive cycle.

Imagine how congested and uncomfortable Munna must be feeling when it’s full. If you don’t evolve it, it can’t fart out all the dreams it ate. If you stopped it’s evolution, odds are it’s colon would straight up explode, and you would be showered with dream-feces.

3. Every Ghost-Type Pokemon

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There is a creepy, never-really-talked-about thing in Pokemon. Actually, there are probably a lot of things that are creepy and never discussed in Pokemon, but specifically we’re talking about Ghost-type Pokemon here. The implication is that they’re dead spirits of former living beings, unnaturally beholden to this plane of existence for some reason. Even more unsettling, they can still be captured and trained by children for what amounts to insane, superpowered cockfights. Where it gets even weirder is that a lot of these Ghost-type Pokemon can evolve into new Pokemon entirely.

Part of the key to understanding evolution is that a thing must be alive to evolve. That’s important. Dead things do not evolve, since evolution has a lot to do with survival. Ethereal spirits specifically did not survive. Yet, somehow, they continue to change and evolve long after their deaths. Little ghost candles turn into ghost chandeliers, Gastly turns into Gengar, etc. Ghosts shouldn’t be able to change, due to the rules of being of a ghost. If they can evolve – are they really ghosts?

Then again, you could always play Pokemon in “Ghostbuster Mode” (where you catch all Ghost-type Pokemon with Electric-type moves and store all ghosts in a PC Box) and never have to bother asking yourselves these questions.

2. The Pokemon Dies

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Pokemon have it hard enough – they are constantly being forced to battle each other and face off against horrifying powers, being blasted with lightning strikes and having their mind torn apart by psychic cats. But through all of this, pretty much the worst thing that can happen to them is that they faint at the end. Which, all things considered, is actually not too shabby. While there are a few implied deaths of Pokemon throughout the series (lookin’ at you, Blue’s Raticate), it’s extremely rare. Even rarer, what if literally murdering your Pokemon was what made it evolve? That’s case for Snorunt.

Snorunt is an Ice-type. He’s a cute little guy who survives by eating snow and ice. And he can evolve into the pretty normal evolution of Glalie (also an Ice-type). But there’s another possibility. If you expose Snorunt to the Dawn Stone, it “evolves” into Froslass. But Froslass is a Ghost-type, implying that Snorunt died in the process – since it was made of ice and was exposed to the burning heat of the Dawn Stone. So yes – you killed a Pokemon to make it evolve. As if enslaving and fighting animals didn’t make you enough of a sociopath monster.

Note: Shedinja is a weird example – it is the shell of a Pokemon that evolved, but somehow still exists as a separate entity, as if the spirit of the original Pokemon split in two. Does it retain the consciousness of the original Pokemon, Nincada? The Pokedex entries claim it’s an “empty shell that came to life”, which is bringing up even more questions no one wants answered. Reminder: this is a game intended for all ages.

1. Pokemon That Literally Grow Additional Heads

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Listen – it’s definitely weird to grow additional limbs where there were no limbs before. There was a whole arc on the Spider-Man cartoon about how confusing it can be for a young person to grow new arms, like an after-school special mutated-gene puberty. Machamp, I’m sure it’s real tough being you.

But growing extra HEADS? That’s like some David Cronenberg-level existential nightmare shit. Entirely new consciousnesses are being spawned when you evolve a Doduo or a Deino, which is pretty horrifying – but worse, they’re sprouting attached to the same body as the other head. Imagine entering the world, only to discover you have to share a body with someone who’s been there for a while. Oh, also you’re the enslaved property of some sociopath 11 year old who’s going to pit you in fights to the death with random animals. And if you’re a Dodrio, you kinda suck, so – best case scenario – you become an HM slave and have to fly the kid around the world (EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T HAVE WINGS CAPABLE OF FLIGHT). Worst case scenario? You get forgotten in a Bill’s PC somewhere and live on a flash drive for the rest of your life (assuming you call your existence a “life”).





Dorklyst: The 9 Worst Videogame Launches of All-Time

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The launch of the latest SimCity was, to put it mildly, not handled well. To put it spicily, it was a huge unimaginable mess – with people unable to download the game, play the game due to lack of available servers, features being turned off, and with a number of updates released post-launch trying to fix some of the major issues users were experiencing. This didn’t go on for just the first few hours of its release though – some of this is still going on, a week after release. For a smaller game and company, this might not be such a surprise – but this is from one of the largest publishers in videogames and one of the biggest franchises in videogames. However, SimCity is not the first game to put users through this kind of launch mess. Here are 9 other games that had terrible launches.

9. World of Warcraft

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The game that truly launched MMOs into widespread popularity, and possibly the most profitable game of all-time (also the most life-sucking – it’s been played a grand total of 5.93 million years, cumulatively), World of Warcraft started off in a state of total disarray. As the first huge MMO of its kind, Blizzard had no idea what it was walking into, and the servers were instantly overloaded on launch day, with queues reaching the thousands. And even if you did manage to get into the game, everything was slow and glitchy. If this had happened today, it would be a nightmare – SimCity at least has most of their ducks in order a week later – but WoW’s woes lasted for over a month, mostly due to outdated servers that were in dire need of upgrading. Thankfully, Blizzard learned their lesson and never had a rocky launch ever agai- OH WAIT…

8. Diablo 3

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Diablo 3 is a lot like SimCity – both are beloved franchises that hadn’t had a new release in about a decade, both were being closely watched for their always-online DRM policy, and both are the Spanish word for “devil” (I’ll check that later). But people weren’t quite as nervous for Diablo 3 as they were for SimCity – for one, Blizzard gave you the option of pre-downloading the game, so when midnight struck, you would be able to jump right into the game and get back that carpal tunnel syndrome that had laid dormant in your clicking-finger for 10 years. Plus, it was Blizzard launching the game! If anyone knew how online games under heavy server load worked, it would be the people behind World of Warcraft and StarCraft, right? Well, then the infamous Error 37 occurred.

Error 37 read as follows: “The servers are busy at this time. Please try again later (error 37)”. The game’s always-on DRM requirement meant that – if you could not connect to Blizzard’s servers – you could not play the game in any capacity. No single player, no multiplayer, nothing. Error 37 instantly entered meme legend, flooding social media with angry gamers who just wanted to murder Satan. On top of this, numerous other bugs plagued the initial release, with people losing characters and loot, including their hardcore permadeath characters. You don’t have to shove a crystal in your forehead to recognize the launch was a huge disaster – but now that user levels have dropped as quickly as the population of Tristram, at least the server load has eased up.

7. Hellgate: London

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Hellgate: London opened its, uh, hellgates on Halloween 2007 – and all hell(gate) broke loose. US players experienced bugs and the expected glitches that goes along with any game that happens to be the developer’s first 3D game, their first FPS, their first subscription-based game, etc. But players in Southeast Asia ran into something far more horrible – a patch released two weeks after the game’s initial release was forced on all players, which fixed a few issues but also deleted all progress made to that point. And users worldwide ran into issues with the subscription fees – with many people being mistakenly billed multiple times and others paying for the service being denied access to certain game features. In less than two years, the servers were shut down and the game was inaccessible. On the other hand, users had plenty of time to eat leftover Halloween candy.

6. Half-Life 2

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Ahhh, Valve…the shining beacon of videogame goodness and generosity, a flawless diamond in the rough of the gaming landscape – how could they do any wrong? Half-Life 2 is one of the greatest games ever, and Steam is the perfect platform for PC gaming! It’s not like anyone was singing a different tune about ten years ago, right?

Half-Life 2 was released via Steam on November 16, 2004 – the first game to require Steam to be playable. And it was a deeply-flawed mess. Valve had allowed gamers to pre-load the game as far back as August that year, just needing to download a simple code to jump into the game immediately once released. But Valve’s servers were (expectedly) overloaded, leaving many unable to get their games (whether downloaded or purchased as a box copy) validated. The game the internet had been waiting for years for was unavailable, users were writing off Steam as a huge misstep, and cats and dogs were living together – mass hysteria.

5. Star Wars Galaxies

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SWG sounded like every nerd’s dream come true – you could create a character in the Star Wars universe, do anything you wanted, travel to familiar planets and locales, and maybe even unlock your Force potential and train to become a Jedi! Sure, the game ultimately was a little too complex and unwieldy to ever really live up to this crazy promise, but it was exciting nonetheless.

As one of the most anticipated MMO launch of all-time, thousands and thousands tried to login and play the game simultaneously – and pretty much no one got on. The servers were overloaded for well over a day, so that gamers could access nothing at all related to Star Wars Galaxies. It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced, except without the “silenced” part, since forums exploded with anger and fury by those who had taken a week off of work to delve into their new life as a Rodian entertainer on Dantooine. Even after the servers caught up with the users, the game was plagued by issues that required numerous updates. And sadly, the game servers pulled the plug on the entire endeavor recently, shutting down the galaxy once and for all. Not even the Death Star could’ve done that.

4. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was a very special kind of disaster – it was hurled onto an unassuming public well before it had any right to be released, came with the standard numerous bugs, and featured a level of incompleteness rarely seen in a major launch. It advertised features – namely flying mounts – that simply weren’t in the game whatsoever (until many months later). Patches were being sent out that actually led toadditional bugs and glitches. And it was well-known that the game was rushed to market as quickly as possible, since revenue was desperately needed by the investors behind it. Active users sunk from over 200k initially, to a little over 100k after the first month, to settle around 40k within a few months – a drop of about 80%.

And – perhaps most dramatically – the horrible launch led to some bizarre consequences, including an event where half of the developer’s employees were unceremoniously fired in the parking lot outside, after Sony bought all assets relating to the game away from other investors, in an attempt to salvage the mess that was Vanguard. Eventually the game was able to recover, more or less, and turn into something vaguely-resembling the fun and engaging game that was initially promised, but the launch forever crippled it (not to mention gave a bunch of developers a lot of stigma towards parking lots).

3. The WarZ

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While The WarZ’s launch was terrible, it did have one redeeming feature: it was very short-lived. On December 17th, 2012, after a brief alpha testing period, The WarZ was released on Steam. The game was notable for being widely viewed as a rushed knock-off of the popular ARMA 2 mod, DayZ, which debuted well before The WarZ and was generally more well-liked. But the biggest complaint about The WarZ itself came from the nature of the game itself – you had to pay for the game and microtransactions for in-game items and even re-spawning after death (or wait a multi-hour period to get back in the game you’ve already paid for). People had grumbled when it was a free alpha-testing game, but the outcry was deafening once it was released on Steam, with threads popping up across gaming sites, social media, and especially Reddit, all dedicated to pointing out egregious flaws of the game’s design, the controversial issue of the game’s origin, and the bad business practices by the developer (who were noted as refusing or making it very difficult to get a refund).

Within two days, the game was pulled from Steam (although it was recently – and very quietly – re-released on February 26th, 2013). A dead, monstrous game returning to semi-life? Maybe it’s just the most meta zombie game ever.

2. Final Fantasy XIV

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Few view the last several years of the Final Fantasy franchise in a positive light, but the worst moment in all of Final Fantasy’s multiple decade history is arguably the launch of Final Fantasy XIV. Like XI, it was designed as another MMO. Unlike XI, it was a laggy mess with an incomprehensible interface that couldn’t figure out how to get it’s PS3 port in shape enough for its own crappy launch. Beyond the bugs and performance issues, the game stood as just being poorly-designed on every level. You could hire NPCs to sell your goods – but there was no indication of who was selling what, leaving the market an inscrutable mess. There was a system in place that actually punished players for playing for extended periods of time – essentially a middle finger to the people who made up MMOs chief userbase. And the control scheme was, by most accounts, akin to stabbing yourself in the face repeatedly with a spiky axe.

The game was so widely disliked that Square-Enix actually pulled the game from shelves within about a month of release, with the intention of rebuilding the game from the ground up. Even at this point, years later, there is no solid release date for the “new” Final Fantasy XIV (subtitled: A Realm Reborn), although it should be released later this year. Probably as an iOS app with $200 in in-game microtransactions, but whatever it is couldn’t be worse than the launch of XIV.

1. Ultima IX: Ascension

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Many years ago, in the ancient period of 1999, there were two entities known as EA and Origin. Sound familiar? EA is still EA, but Origin was a developer that worked on the Ultima series, that – up to that point – had been pretty well-regarded. Then Ascension was released.

A lot of things happened behind the scenes prior to this – at least 4 wildly different versions of the game were in development at various times, team members had come and gone, and technology advanced – but most of all, EA forced a set release date on the team. The game was then launched, in a buggy, horribly-unfinished state, and with ridiculous hardware requirements to boot. Updates and bug fixes did little to stop the game ending crashes – it was only when a former team member anonymously released an unofficial patch that the game was playable again. But even then, the game was an ugly mess, and would be the last single-player game ever released by Origin. But the end of one Origin would open the gates for another. The cycle continues.

It’s like the old saying goes – “Those who do not learn from history are bound to buy messed-up EA games.”