Stars of the next Pokemon Movie revealed

Man's best friend? These menaces are a shape-shifting nightmare

Feast your eyes on the foxes on this page, for they are the very first fifth generation Pokemon to poke their heads above the tall grass around Game Freak’s Genetically Modified Pokemon Breeding Farm. (What? Did you actually think the affronts to nature that are Abomasnow and Nosepass came into existence organically?)

Above: Here’s a trailer

Let’s begin with the smaller and cuter of the two – the smirking fox creature below with furniture stand-calibre legs and anose that could cut diamonds. This fellow is named Zorua, a Dark Fox Pokemon who gives the impression that Butterfrees wouldn’t melt in his mouth. This, plainly, isn’t true. Although his physical appearance isn’t much to cross your legs about (he stands at a paltry 0.7 metres high and weighs just 12.5 kilograms – evena waif-like crayon-waveris more substantial than that), Zorua has the potential to deliver more bad news than the Bad News Bear’s weekly newsletter, ‘This Week In Bad News’.

The trouble, in particular, lies with Zorua’s evolved form, Zoroark. The name’s a portmanteau of ‘zorro’ – Spanish for ‘fox’ – and ‘dark’. Expect it to be changed to ‘Zorodark’ or equivalent upon the games’ western release. Although very little is known about his in-game statistics, we’ve been able to gain a little insight into his potential abilities thanks to a short trailer promoting the upcoming thirteenth(!) Pokemon movie, now called Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark.

Oh, you thought Suicune, Entei and Raikou were the movies’ poster boys? Hey, it’s an easy mistake-a to make-a. After all, the new trailer does begin with the Legendary bow-wows wreaking destruction on a downtown suburb. Tidal waves, thunder, firestorms – all of that stuff. What’s their problem? Well, maybe they don’t have one – maybe they’re not even in the movie at all, in fact. In one critical scene, we see Ash and his gang confront the Entei, which transforms first into a Suicune and then into a Raikou, right in front of their eyes. Just in case that didn’t freak them out enough, it then takes the liberty of transforming itself into an image of Ash Ketchum himself, before revealing its true identity. Hello! It’s pronounced ‘Zo-Row-Arc’!

A shapeshifter? Not quite. Zoroark is described as an ‘Illusionary’ Pokemon, so it might well be that Zoroark is only able to take on the appearance of a target, without necessarily adopting the full range of their abilities. It’s hard to say how this power will translate into the new DS games, which are scheduled for release in Japan in late 2010. With Ditto already holding the copyright as the resident shapeshifting ’Mon, they’re going to need to conjure up something a bit special to ensure Zoroark forms his own identity. The fact that he’s getting his own film suggests that they’ve already come up with the goods.

And we can only wonder about his breeding habits – have we got another all-purpose, all-canoodling Ditto type on our hands? It would be fun to match one up with a Magikarp, and then have him transform into a Sharpedo mid-date, just for a laugh, like. Hey, if you had a stomach the width of a toilet roll and a hairdo that looked like the contents ofMick Hucknall’sbath plug, you’d use your illusionary powers before signing up on, right?

One question that’s been flying around the Pokemon forums is this: is Zoroark a Legendary ’Mon? They don’t just give out movie subtitles to any old Tom, Dick and Flaaffy, after all. If it turns out that it is, then this represents a first for the series – no Legendary has ever had an evolved form before. But then Zoroark isn’t just another Pokemon – it’s a fifth-generation Pokemon. And at this stage, almost anything is possible.

Apr 24, 2010

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