Pokémon Black and White have been released worldwide! That means there are now 649 Pokémon in existence. To anyone not following the series, that may seem like a lot considering it all started with 150 over a decade ago. 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. Well, I still do! This is the 20th of my many I Choose You! articles where I will span over five generations of games writing about each Pokémon and what makes it special. That's right - all 649 of them.
We all know about Pikachu, Mewtwo, and Lucario. But what about the brand new ones like Tynamo, Joltik, and Munna? 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 get nostalgic with me as you read about their origins and how they've impacted my gaming experience. Hit the jump for Zekrom, the Deep Black Pokémon!
Every new Pokémon game has to have a mascot that appears on the cover of the game and becomes the star of that particular version. Pokémon White's mascot is actually the black colored Pokémon Zekrom. The choice to have a black Pokémon on a white background seems like a great marketing strategy, but the legend behind its origin gives it a deeper connection with its fiery counterpart.
The Unova region was created by a mythical Dragon Pokémon who helped two brothers rule its lands and its people. Everyone lived in peace and harmony, until one day both brothers were divided by how the region should be ruled. The older brother sought truth, while the younger brother sought ideals. As their dispute began to grow, their struggle caused the Dragon Pokémon to split into two separate Pokémon that each shared the feelings of the two brothers. Zekrom sought the future for its ideals and Reshiram sought the past for its truth. Eventually the two brothers reconciled, but their sons then behaved like their fathers once had, at which point Zekrom and Reshiram destroyed the old Unova with bolts and flames. The people of Unova then put the two dragons into a deep slumber.
Zekrom and Reshiram also represent the concept of yin-yang in Taoism, with Zekrom being the black yin of the Pokémon world. Symbolically, yin represents softness, passiveness, and femininity, and yet Zekrom is a lot more masculine in appearance than its white yang counterpart. In an interview, Ken Sugimori stated that its name comes from the word kuro (black) and that he added the "Ze" before its name because it was a stronger sound than Reshiram's "Re." It also looks a lot tougher, rougher, and more physically aggressive. Zekrom also has an electric generator built into its tail which is the source of its power.
After N awakens Reshiram and uses it to essentially rule the world, your job is to catch Zekrom to restore balance to the world. In fact, the game forces you to catch Zekrom in order to move forward with the storyline. Once it is on your side, you'll realize you have an awesome Pokémon on your team. Zekrom's unique type combination of Dragon/Electric gives it three weakness but plenty of resistances. It has a higher physical Attack stat than Special Attack, but you can easily give it Draco Meteor and Bolt Strike to make it a strong mixed sweeper. This is a Pokémon you'll want to play on Uber tier, so just be wary of faster Pokémon like Groudon and Garchomp that can easily decimate it.
If you think about how much the Pokémon series has grown over the years, the origin of Zekrom brings up a lot of mature topics the youngest of players might not understand. The more mature gamers, though, can think of different parallels that might have inspired Unova's origins. You could say Zekrom and Reshiram represent the two opposing political views based on practical ideals and religious truths that our founding fathers believed in. The battle of the two brothers could also represent our own Civil War.
Zekrom's Electric-type is also a more modern concept in human civilization that was made more commonplace through the progress of technology. This contrasts easily with the more rustic fire of Reshiram. Whatever your interpretations of Zekrom may be, it is certainly one of my favorite Legendary Pokémon. Its origins have deep meanings and it looks pretty damn cool too.