Okay, well Pokemon has always been a part of me, and even as a kid I was scribbling fake Pokemon (“Fakemon”) till my heart’s content. This is something even now I return to every once and a while, because it’s just a fun little exercise–coming up with designs, studying the “style” of Pokemon to mimic it, and producing ideas that fit a Fakemon nicely.
Recently I came up with the idea of an entire new region and decided to play around with designing some Fakemon for it! Unfortunately I didn’t get as far as I wanted, and have been too busy to properly return to it, but one day I’d love to design more ‘mons, on top of the trainers and other humans. I managed to do the starters and a few others, so for now I’ll share those.
This region is called the Lapeo region, and there’s a specific quirk to it: it has no actual living Pokemon on it! Instead, ALL the Pokemon come from fossils. Because this is the main way people collect Pokemon, their systems are more powerful in resurrecting fossil Pokemon than any other region. Therefore, fossil Pokemon aren’t all part Rock-type. This includes fossil Pokemon from other regions, who all have a Lapeo form, as well as original Pokemon. Basically, this is an excuse for me to design Fakemon AND geek out with paleo knowledge. So. Yep, it’s probably pretty nerdy. Let’s dive into the starters:
Your choice of starters in the Lapeo region are Sliktaalik, Embrodon and Trilobud!
I had each starter line represent a major tree of life, with Sliktaalik representing reptiles, Embrodon mammals, and Trilobud arthropods. Sliktaalik, as the name implies, is based on Tiktaalik, one of the very first vertebrates to walk on land; Embrodon is based around Dimetrodon, a synapsid (synapsids would eventually yield mammals); and Trilobud is based on trilobites, a once common seafloor arthropod.
I even wrote their dex entries, which are:
- Sliktaalik: (Semi-Aquatic Pokemon) Sliktaalik is believed to be an early ancestor to many Pokemon. It still has trouble walking on its feet, and so will often slide around on its belly.
- Embrodon: (Hot-blooded Pokemon) Embrodon have such an intense body heat, that they must expel flames from their back in order to keep their temperature regulated.
- Trilobud: (Forest floor Pokemon) Trilobud are small resilient Pokemon that keep to the undergrowths of forests. They often plant seeds in the little trails they leave as they walk.
Sliktaalik is pure Water type, Embrodon is pure Fire, and Trilobud is Grass/Bug.
As you raise your starter and they evolve, they become…
Nothocean, Pyrapsid and Euripterra!
Here we begin diving into different creatures but still (relatively) in the same theme. (Tiktaalik is technically not really a reptile, but I just felt it proper to use such an iconic early species as a starter).
Nothocean is based on nothosaurs, marine reptiles from the Triassic. Pyrapsid is based on gorgonopsids, a range of predatory synapsids from the Permian. Euripterra is based on sea scorpions, arthropods that dominated the seas from the Ordovician.
Their dex entries:
- Nothocean: (Semi-Aquatic Pokemon) Nothocean tend to gather by the edge of the water, using the sharp teeth at the end of its snout to snatch up prey.
- Pyrapsid: (Hot-blooded Pokemon) The intense flames that burn in Pyrapsid’s body actually make it quite light, and in some cases it is able to float.
- Euripterra: (Forest floor Pokemon) Euripterra are fierce protectors of the forests they live in, and can get very territorial—even with each other.
These stages are still the same typing as their predecessors, but that’s about to change…
Here we have the final stages! Spirate, Baseppelin and Arthromotive!
Okay, I have a lot to say about these guys. Spirate is based on the dinosaur Spinosaurus, but is also modelled on a pirate ship. Basepplin is based on whales, in particular the ancient whale Basilosaurus, as well as a zeppelin/blimp. Arthromotive is based on the giant millipede Arthropleura, as well as a steam engine. I wanted each of them to not only represent their family trees, but take on a form of modern human transportation—from the sea, sky and land. This showcases how much these particular Pokemon have adapted to human society, making them perfect for starter Pokemon. (I like to think that although their first stages are their ancient forms brought back to life, their final stages didn’t evolve until they were around people.)
Here are their dex entries:
- Spirate: (Pirate Pokemon) Spirate are mischievous Pokemon who prowl the dark waters, turning ships around with blasts from their snout. They signal to each other with their sails.
- Baseppelin: (Fire Whale Pokemon) Baseppelin maintains the height it flies by controlling the temperature of the fire burning in its body. It occasionally needs to exhale this fire through its nose.
- Arthromotive: (Millipede Pokemon) Arthromotive must always be moving. The gas it produces from its horn is a strange toxin that can be very dangerous.
Spirate is Water/Dark, Baseppelin is Fire/Flying, and Arthromotive is still Grass/Bug (though for flavour it probably knows a lot of Poison and Ground moves).
There are the starters! I uh, put a lot of thought into them, hence why I wanted to make a post—I’ve never been able to geek out about them as much anywhere else. The question now is: which starter would YOU choose?
I also have some sketches that I used to feel out their designs:
I have a few more Fakemon that I also designed for this region—I don’t know if they are as in depth as these starters, but I had fun making them, too.
The “early bird” Pokemon of this region isn’t really a bird at all. This is Zapling and Pteranimbus! They are based on pterosaurs, and are both Flying/Electric.
Their dex entries are:
- Zapling: (Pterosaur Pokemon) Zapling is able to build the electricity in its body by flapping its wings. It stores excess electricity as static in its fur.
- Pteranimbus: (Pterosaur Pokemon) During thunderstorms you can often find large flocks of Pteranimbus flying the skies, hoping to be powered up by a strike of lightning.
The “early rodent” of the Lapeo region would be these guys: Sewadillo and Glyptoquilt! They’re based around Glyptodonts, giant armadillos. I’m unsure if these guys would be just Normal typing, or perhaps Normal/Fairy. I also wasn’t the happiest with this final design, I may go back and redo it if I return to this project.
Their dex entries are:
- Sewadillo: (Plush Pokemon) Sewadillo’s cushy shell provides it a surprisingly good protection against predators. It often curls into a ball to roll great distances.
- Glyptoquilt: (Plush Pokemon) Glyptoquilt’s collects sharp objects, sticking them into its tail to create a formidable weapon. Its thick hide is almost impenetrable.
As mentioned above, the Lapeo region has some regional variants of regular Pokemon, too, whether they be fossil Pokemon that are not just part Rock type, or some ancient versions of regular Pokemon. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to too many of these, but the ones I did manage get both of these ideas across!
The Lapeoan Archen and Archeops look a little different than normal. Instead of Rock/Flying, they are now Dark/Flying, and are modelled after the feathered dinosaur Microraptor, whose colours we know were black and iridescent, like a crow! These guys aren’t too different than their normal forms, I feathered them up a bit more and obviously changed their colours.
Their dex entries are:
- Archen: (Early Bird Pokemon) Archen’s feathers help it to blend into the dark forests it lives. Although it cannot fly, its gliding abilities are very adept.
- Archeops: (Early Bird Pokemon) Archeops are powerful fliers, and often come out at night to pick on weaker Pokemon around it—including even younger Archen.
Lapeoan Rhyhorn and Rhydon also have a makeover, plus a new evolution: Rhytherium! These guys are clearly modelled after wooly rhinos, with Rhytherium specifically being inspired by Elasmotherium. They are all three Normal/Ice types. The challenge I quickly found with this one was how actually unlike a rhino these Pokemon are, so it was a bit harder channelling that wooly rhino look.
It was a fun challenge with these ones imitating the official art and poses, I learned a lot when I did these two!
Their dex entries are:
- Rhyhorn: (Ice Horn Pokemon) Rhydon’s furry hide protects it from bitter cold. The ice its horn is made from is as hard as rock.
- Rhydon: (Ice Horn Pokemon) Depictions of ancient Rhydon can be found in cave paintings, showing how ancient humans would hunt them.
- Rhytherium: (Ice Horn Pokemon) Rhytherium are solitary, and very territorial. A meeting of two Rhytherium must always result in one coming out as the victor.
Unfortunately, that’s all I have right now! I would definitely love to revisit this little project, but of course, it’s very, very much a side-thing. I still have some ideas kicking around that I’d love to draw, and perhaps even revisit some of these designs to fine-tune them. I’ll be sure to make more posts when I do!
Thanks for reading! I promise my next post will not be related to dinosaurs in some way… hopefully….