Now, this family has arguably received the most flaq for their creation. Mainly due to their dragon typing. Ahh I could hear the fans now, “HOW THE HELL IS THAT A DRAGON? AND NOT CHARIZARD? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!” Well Mr and or Mrs WhinesAlot, lucky for you my friend Carolyn placed a request for this family, so fret not as I shed light on these slimy critters. Now let’s start with getting the obvious out of the way. Lets begin with Goomy. Goomy draws inspiration from soft bodied gastropods, hence being called the Soft Tissue Pokemon. The two gastropods most commonly associated with this pokemon are the slugs and nudibranches.
Now, nudibranches are soft bodied gastropods from the seas often characterized by their beautiful colors. They are often mistaken as sea slugs, which many species belonging to many different taxonomic groups. It also has a defense mechanism that is reflective of Goomy’s slimy exterior. However, the nudibranch’s mucus is more acidic making it an irritant to the touch. Now for its slug inspiration, it can easily be said it draws inspiration from both a land slug and a species of slug that lives in fresh waters called Acochlidium.
A slug resting on a leaf.
An example of an Acochlidium
Let’s look at where Goomy lives, Route 14. It’s an eerie swamp. As for where you encounter Goomy, you find it strange enough by both walking into the grass or puddles AND surfing. So this amphibious behavior in Goomy shows that Goomy can be traced back to these two species of slug. However, there’s one more species of gastropod Goomy is inspired by, one that may explain his dragon typing. One I think all of us on this site have run into at some point.
This is the Glaucus atlanticus, or better known by the name the blue dragon. The blue dragon is a species of nudibranch characterized by it beautiful appearance and it’s ability to consume the Portuguese man o’ war and assimilating its own pnematocysts into its body as a defense mechanism. So Tentacool and Tentacruel, start sleeping with one eye open cause this slug doesn’t mess around! These defense mechanisms are also seen in Goomy with it being able to learn poison type moves such as sludge wave or sludge bomb and even learning acid armor from breeding. One could also draw the conclusion that Goomy’s design has another inspiration from a more science fiction perspective. It can be said that Goomy can be derived from the popular science fiction trope of living slime, such as The Blob or Flubber.
Horror and Robin Williams movies aside, while it may be most likely coincidental, it isn’t entirely impossible. Pokemon have been created with drawing inspiration from other pieces of literature or cinema, but we’ll cross that Skyarrow Bridge once we get there. Moving on to Sliggoo, we can see that Sliggoo looks a lot more like a snail than a slug like its predecessor. This could be attributed to the French dish, and nickname for certain species of snails used for the dish, Escargot.
Escargot is a dish consisting of cooked land snails often served as appetizers in France and French restaurants. The most common snail utilized for the dish is the Helix pomatia, or the Roman snail. Though, given the inability for the Sliggoo to retract into its shell, it draws more from a species of gastropod called the semi-slug.
A semi-slug is a land gastropod whose shell is too small for them to retract into, however it isn’t vestigial. In some cases, the shell is difficult to see to the naked eye because it is covered by the mantle of the gastropod. Now another possible explaination of its dragon typing is Sliggoo and Goodra’s connection to the French mythical beast, the Lou Carcolh.
The Lou Carcolh is a mythical beast from French folklore that is both a serpent and mollusk. Some of its striking characteristics is their massive hairy and slimy tentacles that stretch from its cave pulling in their victim and swallowing them whole. With the Dragon typing, their own coat of viscous slime as seen in the hidden ability Gooey, and Kalos’ basis coming from France, it is safe to say that it’s a spot on parallel. Still not enough evidence to convince you this family deserves the dragon typing? Well let me ask you, have you ever heard of the Shussebora?
The story of the Shussebora tells the tale of a trumpet shell snail. The story goes that this snail lived a total of 3000 years; 1000 years in the plains, 1000 years in the sea, and 1000 years in the moutains. At the end of its 3000th year of its life, it rised to the heavens and became a dragon. Wait. Plains, Sea, and Mountains? Sounds familiar?
Tune in next time where I’ll be covering the Emotion Pokemon and its evolutions, the Ralts Family.