Did you know that with the advent of Pokémon Black and White there are now 649 Pokémon in existence? I remember back in the day when I would watch the anime on television and hear that familiar Pokérap song at the end of each episode naming all the Pokémon that, at the time, totaled 150. I'll admit, I was one of those people who tried to memorize their names, and I also went even further by researching their origins and how they were thought up. And guess what? I still do.
This is the second of my many I Choose You! articles where I will focus on one Pokémon or on its evolutionary line and cover its origins and abilities. I'll also include my own opinions about the Pokémon and what I remember most about them. Sure, we all know about Pikachu, Mewtwo, and Lucario. But what about the less famous ones like Sandslash, Whiscash, and Bastiodon? I've added all 649 Pokémon into a randomizer and I will try to focus on all of them as they come and in no particular order. Even if you are not a Pokémon fan, I hope you'll learn a bit about them, how they affected my own gaming experience, and perhaps realize why the Pokémon franchise is still going strong. Hit the jump for Nidoqueen!
Oh, Nidoqueen. How could I forget you? You were one of those Pokémon in the original games that required a Moon Stone to evolve, and because there was only a few of them in Pokémon Red, it made getting you so much more of an investment. In fact, I had to decide whether I wanted you or your male counterpart Nidoking. But in the end, your Body Slam won me over.
Nidoqueen, the Drill Pokémon, evolves from its pre-evolution Nidorina after you use a Moon Stone on it. I always thought the Moon Stone worked only on fairy-like Pokémon like Clefairy and Jigglypuff, and yet somehow Nidorina qualifies for it too. While its pre-evolutions Nidoran and Nidorina resemble a strange mixture of rabbit, porcupine, and rodent, Nidoqueen seems to be a quintessential (Pocket) Monster. Its name could even come from the needles that cover its entire body. Its reptilian appearance is similar to that of the Japanese kaiju (monsters) that you see romping around cities on those live-action monster movies. In fact, it has an uncanny resemblance to the kaiju Baragon who was a dinosaur that escaped extinction by burrowing into the ground. Its main weapon is its heat ray that it shoots from its mouth, but like Nidoqueen, it has the special ability to burrow into the ground.
It wasn't until Pokémon Gold and Silver that Pokémon received genders, but even before Generation II, its name and physical traits clearly indicated that Nidoqueen is female. One of the first things I noticed about Nidoqueen was how detracting its design is, especially when I used it in Pokémon Stadium. I mean, the Pokémon has boobies, or at least its chest coloration clearly indicates that it is female. So seeing it jiggle its body in Pokémon Stadium when it attacked made me both laugh and cringe. Don't you think this gender indicator could have been a bit more subtle, Sugimori?
Please don't get the idea that I spent all my Generation I days scrutinizing Nidoqueen's body. I also noticed that she didn't learn many good attacks. Despite having the unique Poison and Ground-type combination, Nidoqueen doesn't learn a lot of strong Poison or Ground moves. I remember I had to think about whether I wanted to use my only Earthquake TM on it until I finally decided that Body Slam was good enough. Strangely, Nidoqueen is also capable of learning Surf, and as a child who cared for the safety of his virtual allies in battle, I refused to make this Ground-type Pokémon enter the water because I was certain it would be a painful experience. Yes, I cared for my Pokémon.
I will admit though that my Nidoqueen spent a lot time in one of the cozy boxes on Bill's PC. I honestly didn't get much use out it since I found stronger Ground-type Pokémon that could get the job done better than it could. Plus, many of them learned Earthquake on their own. I'm glad that in the newer Generations, Nidoqueen has gained plenty of attacks that let it be a more formidable opponent. Nidoqueen is woman. Hear it roar.