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Ludicolo's design is genius

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by Blast, May 18, 2018.

  1. Blast

    Blast もう泣かない

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    May 18, 2014
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    Recently, I was thinking about the third generation of Pokémon. That's when I realized how brilliant the design of Ludicolo is. I love every Pokémon, but Ludicolo is one of the Pokémon with the most intricate designs of them all. There are so many inspirirations and themes worked into his design, yet it still comes together to make a beloved Pokémon and fits within its evolution line.


    Let's look at what kind of ideas make up Ludicolo's design. There's so much to look at, but one of its most noticable features is the lily pad on his head that looks like a sombrero hat. This might seem simple, but there are many layers. First, it reinforces the logic behind Ludicolo's Grass and Water typing in one. Just looking at it makes its type combination make sense. Second, it takes inspiration from both Mexican and Japanese culture. Obviously, the lily pad looks like a sombrero hat, but it's also an attribute of the kappa, a mythical Japanese creature. Because of this ambiguity, it makes the lily pad recongizable both for an international and Japanese audience. The protrusion growing from the lily pad differentiates it from it from its previous evolution, Lombre, and the design similar to a palm tree again represents its Grass typing.

    Next is its face and body. Just looking at its beak and eyes makes you think of a duck, a bird living in the water. Though, Ludicolo's body is totally different from that of a duck and is clearly inspired by the shape of a pineapple. Normally, combining a duck and pineapple seems like a ludicrous idea, yet somehow it looks so natural in Ludicolo design. Actually, the beak too is another feature from the kappa. By solely taking the basic framework of what makes up a kappa, especially the beak and the lily pad, assures no matter how unrelated the implemented features are, Ludicolo always looks like a single creature that stands on its own, not like mishmash of random ideas the designers came up with. These features are also shared by the all designs of Ludicolo's evolution line, keeping them connected.

    Despite Ludicolo's color scheme, which seemingly has nothing to do with water, it is still apparent that it is an aquatic Pokémon. This is not also portrayed by the lily pad and its beak similar to a duck, but also his hands. They look as is if their primary function is to swim with, looking a bit like a duck's webbed feet due to the subtle black stripes.

    Unlike Ludicolo's hands, its feet don't have any relation to swimming or water in any way. Instead, they have to do with another feature of Ludicolo design, namely his constant dancing. It would be awkward for Ludicolo to hop around on his feet if he had large webbed feet like flippers. In order to not make Ludicolo design too overwhelming and to make it easy for him to dance around, its legs and feets are as simple as possible. This is another constrast with Lombre, who has toes and nails on its hand and feet. On the other hand, its stubby legs are consistent in shape with Lotad little stumps.

    Lastly, Ludicolo's connection to dacning. As mentioned before, Ludicolo is almost always dancing. His happily smiling beak shows that the dancing is part of his mood. Not only that, the lily pad that looks like a sombrero calls up the typical image of a Mexican band playing mariachi music, futher integrating the dancing within Ludicolo's DNA. Again, its feet are also fit for continiously hopping around.

    Although there's much more to talk about with Ludicolo's desgin, I hope I've shown a little bit of why it is so wonderful. Even for Pokémon, such complex and layered designs are very rare and I think it's important to truely appreciate them from time to time.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    Enzap, Nitro Indigo and Zeb like this.
  2. Nitro Indigo

    Nitro Indigo Small ripples lead to big waves.

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    I associate Ludicolo with two things:
    1. Chuggaaconroy.
    2. A My Little Pony crossover where Sweetie Belle ends up in Orre and calls Miror B.'s Ludicolo "pineapple ducks". (And thinks humans are dragons.)
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