Zangoose and Seviper! Who doesn’t love those two? Bound by eternal rivalry, the mongoose and viper duo was destined to become one of the most recognized and cherished pair of Pokemon. Celebrating the recent news of the upcoming RSE remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, let’s take a look at the relationship between one of the most interesting Pokemon duos introduced in Generation III!
Even though they’re die-hard rivals, Zangoose and Seviper are bound to have some similarities to complement their design as a duo. After all, without something to refer to one another, they wouldn’t be different from, let’s say, a Wurmple and Taillow, where the latter is known to eat the first. Generation III had kind of a running theme with duo pokemon – Solrock and Lunatone, Silcoon and Cascoon, Plusle and Minun, Volbeat and Illumise… all of them have something in common, something that ties their design together and reinforces the connection between them. Let’s start with names!
Zangoose’s and Seviper’s names (at least in english) both refer to their favourite past-time activity – cutting shit up.
As Zangoose’s name in english is the same as in Japanese, we will look for it’s japanese meanings.
Zangoose comes from “zan” (斬) which means “behead”, as well as “cut, chop, sever” and “mongoose”. It can also come from “san” (刪), meaning “to cut”, but it’s much more obscure (especially the kanji for it).
Seviper comes from “sever” and “viper”. In Japanese, Seviper’s name is ハブネーク “Habunake”, which is less fun :< But still, let’s focus on english.
So, our first (not so) subtle connection was made. Both Zangoose’s and Seviper’s names refer to cutting, or severing (probably limbs and heads). Well, WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT?! It’s not like they have giant sword-like tails or dagger-sharp claws.
Just look at how they deal with each other. You don’t even matter, all they care about is cutting themselves up.
Considering their rivalry and dangerous equipment, it’s no wonder that they have another thing in common, “big ass” scars. One on the “chest” (quotations, because Seviper), the other on the left “cheek” (Seviper again). They don’t fuck around, it seems.
Another similarity is more subtle, as it can’t be seen nor heard. Both Zangoose and Seviper have the same base-stat total, 458. In fact, no other Pokemon have it, it’s unique to the two (they do not, however, reflect their stat distribution, like some other Pokemon opposites do).
They have similar color patterns as well – Zangoose’s red marks and Seviper’s red tail both turn blue in their shiny versions.
The most subtle similarity (and diference, in a way) are their eyes and expressions. They are inverted.
They also have the same catch rate, hatch time and both yield the same amount of EXP.
Oh, did I mention they belong to the same egg group (Field)? That means a lot of hate-sex at the Day-Care.
Aside from the obvious difference of worldviews, beliefs, and whatever other stupid ideas keep fueling their feud (wait, I forgot they’re beasts, not humans), there are a few differences that actually reinforce their status as a duo.
First, their coloration is opposite – Zangoose is mostly white, Seviper is mostly (almost) black. The same goes for their Pokedex colors. After Zekrom and Reshiram, we kinda get the idea, I hope.
Though the coolest difference between them is the most subtle one, and requires a bit more explanation.
In Pokemon, there are different leveling rates – patterns that specific species follow when levelling up. Some need more exp to reach certain levels than others. Some may grow faster at lower levels, then slow down, while others may be a bitch to raise at first and accelerate later.
While most of those rates are simply different amounts of total experience needed to reach level 100, there are 2 rates that are pretty much the opposites of each other – Erratic and Fluctuating. While all other (aside from Medium Slow) increase the number of exp needed for next level at a steady, controlled pace, Erratic and Fluctuating rates go up, then down, then up and down again EVERY level. They’re more like sines than lines (that, of course, is oversimplification, don’t beat me for that).
The first one, Erratic, is actually the fastest growing rate in Pokemon world. Pokemon with erratic leveling pattern require the least experience point total to reach level 100, with 600.000 exp needed. That is balanced out by their very slow start.
Fluctuating, on the other hand, requires a whopping 1.640.000 total exp points to get to level 100, more than TWICE the amount Erratic needs (or even Fast, the second fastest rate). However, Pokemon belonging to this rate do grow up faster at lower levels than Pokemon belonging to other experience rates.
So, from our duo, who do you think belongs to what experience group?
Zangoose is Erratic, he grows up slow at first, but at the end of the day needs the least exp to turn level 100, while Seviper is the opposite. A nice little detail for eternal rivals.
And all of that is not really anything original, it’s more like a representation of nature. Mongoose are great predators and are well known for their skills when it comes to dealing with all kinds of agile, venomous snakes (and they are immune to their venom, which explains Zangoose’s abilities).
The closest Pokemon can get to real life.
Let me end it on that note. A lot can be said about Pokemon reflecting nature, in fact it can be easily a series of articles on its own, so let’s not stray off topic here and cut the tape.
Thank you for reading!