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 12th 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 Finneon, Lombre, and Graveler? 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 Gulpin!
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced some Pokémon that made me feel like the game was running out of ideas when it came to designing new ones. One of these Pokémon is the Poison-type Pokémon Gulpin, a pre-evolution Pokémon with a simple design and average battle stats. At first I thought Gulpin was the Hoenn equivalent to Grimer since both were of the same type and had similar attacks. But while Grimer represents sludge, Gulpin represents your digestive system.
Gulpin is a green blob with a black marking on its back. It has two appendages that look just like its puckered lips but serve as its arms. On its head it has a yellow crest that ranges in size depending on whether it is male or female. Gulpin also looks like it is easier sleeping or just very tired since its eyes are always closed. This characteristic gives it the useful Yawn attack that makes Pokémon fall asleep a turn after it uses it. It only opens its eyes when it opens its mouth wide to swallow something up or is hit by a strong attack as seen in Pokémon Battle Revolution.
Being the Stomach Pokémon, Gulpin's Pokédex entries allude to its ability to swallow and digest anything. The acids in its stomach are so corrosive that it can even break down scrap iron with ease. Its name is a reference to gulping, and its Japanese name Gokulin comes from gokuri, sound you make when you gulp something down quickly without chewing it. Because its body is mainly composed of its stomach, Gulpin's heart and brain are tiny and maybe that's why it has a sleepy, tired appearance. Gulpin could be based on our stomach and represents digestion, and its green body could also be a reference to our gallbladder, a green organ that stores bile that further helps the stomach in the digestion of fats and other substances.
When I ran into Gulpin while playing Pokémon Sapphire, I decided to use it for a bit until I managed to find a better Pokémon for my team. At first I didn't realize it was a Poison-type Pokémon since the stereotype is that they are purple in color. But as soon as I caught one, I was proven wrong. My favorite of its abilities was Yawn since it helped put many Pokémon to sleep relatively easily. While I did not use it very much in battle, I trained it until it evolved into Swalot at level 26. After Generation IV, Gulpin has access to a wider movepool consisting of the powerful Gunk Shot. It can also learn the rare Pain Split move if bred with Misdreavus.
There are so many Pokémon better than Gulpin, but it does have the honor of being one of the few Pokémon to appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy. Its role in that game was to incapacitate people by swallowing them, of course. If you think about it, coming up with Pokémon can be thought-provoking process. You can easily base them on animals, but you don't often see a Pokémon based on a bodily function.