Warning, this article may contain minor spoilers for those who wish to have absolutely no information about the upcoming games, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. If you don’t follow the news at all and wish to continue so, I advise you to stop reading.
There, with that out of the way, let’s start with the first article out of a mini-series! I hope you’re as excited as I am!
Not so long ago We found out about the “new” mechanics that will make its debut in the upcoming remakes of RSE, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I think you can deduce what I’m talking about from the title of this article – Ancient Devolution. Oh boy, how excited I was.
To tell you the truth, I had a similar idea years back. I sketched a bigger, more ancient looking evolutions of Kanto starters – I thought of it as their form from the times before they were tamed. Funny enough, my Ancient Venusaur looked slightly similar in concept to Mega Venusaur (vines, more leaves, etc.). You can imagine how excited I was when I had seen MegaVenusaur for the first time – it was just like I imagined it, only better! And now another part of that idea I had is on the horizon – ancient pokemon!
To share my excitement with you, I decided to go through some Pokemon that I think may be perfect candidates for Ancient Devolution. It can’t be just Groudon and Kyogre, right? I hope that while some Pokemon deserve Mega Evolutions, others will get Andient Devolution instead.
The list can’t be opened with a more fitting candidate than LAPRAS!
Lapras is a beast. Out of all unevolved Pokemon, (excluding legendary Pokemon and MegaEvolutions) Lapras has the highest base total of whooping 535. That’s Noivern or Swampert power of level, and only 5 points behind Snorlax. Hell, MegaMedicham doesn’t even reach that. That may seem like an argument against Lapras needing an equivalent of MegaEvolution , but considering how Kanto starters, Gyarados, Tyranitar and others gained a MegaEvolution while their base stats total are similar or even higher than Lapras’. All that, of course, is under the assumption that Ancient Devolution works similar to MegaEvolution in terms of mechanics and raises base stats total by 100.
Now, why Lapras? You may or may not know, but Lapras is, in a way, as much a fossil Pokemon as Tyrunt or Aerodactyl.
Lapras seems to be inspired either by a Loch Ness Monster, or some kind of plesiosaur, which is an extinct order of marine reptiles (you can think of them as aquatic dinosaurs). Keeping in mind that Loch Ness Monster (and other famous lake monsters) is similar in description to plesiosaurs, as well as the fact that some cryptid believers think that Nessie is an example of a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs, we can simplify it and agree that Lapras is based on a plesiosaur.
Not any plesiosaur, however, as there are many, and none of them look exactly like Lapras. There is a specific cousin of plesiosaurs, though, that shares one of Lapras’ distinct trait – the shell.
Placodonts were another group of marine reptiles that lived roughly at the same time as plesiosaurs. They looked similar to today’s sea turtles, or sometimes even developed horseshoe crab-like shells, which is an interesting example of convergent evolution, as placodonts have no relation to any of these two. Lapras’ shell does seem to have its roots in placodonts, however, considering how the rest of its body is inspired by a plesiosaur.
The interesting thing to mention is that because of their dense skeleton and heavy shell plating, placodonts were too heavy to float in the ocean. It is thought they lived in shallow waters, which is coincidentally where we usually find Lapras in the games.
How would Primal Lapras look? It can take a few different directions. For one, it could lose its shell and gain a set of killer teeth instead, becoming even more like a plesiosaur. This could mean a increase in attack and speed and perhaps Swift Swim as its ability.
Another idea is to go down the placodont route and emphasize on its shell, making it larger, more armour-like. This would make it even more bulky, with a big increase in defense and special defense, turning it into a defensive nightmare.
The least interesting route in my opinion is to simply add some more horns and bigger spikes on its shell. This would be a very lazy change in design that makes no effort to draw inspiration from what seems to be this pokemon’s origin. If Primal Lapras does happen, I sincerely hope this route doesn’t even cross the designer’s mind.
Thank you for reading! Tell me what you think about Primal Pokemon and what Pokemon you’d want to get an Ancient Devolution!