The Ice-type is blessed to have a specialist every Generation, so there will be a lot to cover! For today, we’ll be looking at the first batch of Ice-type specialists. If you are ready to read on, you may proceed.
When it comes to Ice-type specialists, Lorelei is undeniably the first one to exist. Rather than being a Gym Leader, she is one of Kanto’s Elite Four, at least in the first iteration (she is not present in the GSC-era Elite Four). It seems Lorelei lost some notability since the last we saw her was in the FireRed and LeafGreen era.
Ice-type specialists are usually a bit less on clothes, which is ironic considering how ice is associated with coldness, so it’s strange to see these specialists wear something best worn in warm weather. This is especially the case since they are placed in icy rooms, and Lorelei’s room is no different. With a sleeveless blouse and a skirt reaching close to the knees, there is insufficient coverage for warmth, although she might just be able to withstand that in some form.
In terms of Pokémon choices, she has almost all Ice-types, with only Articuno being absent. It’s not surprising, since Elite Four members are not known to use legendary Pokémon. In its place is Slowbro, who somehow didn’t have an Ice attack in the older games (the remakes fixed that). If you have a rematch with her in the remakes, in Slowbro’s place is Piloswine, an actual Ice-type. Considering how it’s not enough to fit in every Ice-type if you took everything from Kanto, it’s an improvement to her mono-type team. In Pokémon Special, the continuity is slightly different, where it was a Slowking instead of a Slowbro.
The Red and Green remakes added new content, so as an added extra, Lorelei is given a place to call home, the fourth island (Floe) amongst Sevii Islands. Interestingly, she has some stuffed Pokémon dolls at home. The Fame Checker described her as a “logical, calculated and cool” battler, which goes with her smart dressing style and spectacles. It’s possible that her personality dictated her appearance as opposed to the type she specialises in.
Looking at Pokémon Special, we see that her Pokémon have some otherworldly abilities not found, including Jynx creating ice voodoo statues of the heroes that will break them if shattered, which is kind of scary because that is considered amputation. Nothing of that sort happened, though, since the hero is one step ahead (in a manner that’s not clear to the reader until it happened). Note that the Kanto Elite Four is portrayed as antagonists, which would explain this dangerous act. Lorelei returned in the FireRed and LeafGreen chapter where she sides with the good guys this time (for real), compensating from the things she previously did.
In the anime, she was known as Prima as opposed to the original name, since Lorelei is three syllables, unlike the Japanese name’s two syllables. She only appeared in a single episode (The Mandarin Island Miss Match) during the Orange Archipelago arc. In that episode she is a lecturer that records her lectures for a high price. The lecturer bit is in particular interesting because it is compatible to her description as a “logical, calculated and cool” battler. Misty is even her idol, which is surprising to me. It’s not stated that she is part of the Elite Four, though she is still portrayed as a skilled trainer with strong Pokémon. Since Elite Four members are not guaranteed to make an appearance in the anime, we will take what we can get.
Lorelei is basic in terms of Ice-type specialists, while not quite standing out quite a lot. Designs for trainers start getting more distinguishable from Generation 4 onwards, which Lorelei won’t be part of (since she was absent from Gold and Silver), so as it stands, her work lady outfit would be part of the charm of simplicity. For some, her sassy body is that charm.
+ A significant role in the manga
+ Decent Ice-type team
± Basic and simple design
– Lack of characteristic that signifies her specialty type
Moving onto Generation 2, the next Ice-type specialist is also the first that is a Gym Leader. His name is strange because it does not seem like it is Ice-related (at least to me). It was only when it’s pointed out that I realise that every specialist trainer have some significance in the names that highlight their type. Also, I didn’t know Pryce is a real name.
Originally, he wears something you normally do when you live in a tropical place, because shirts and shorts expose the skin to cool on a hot day. Perhaps this irony is the idea behind his design choice, or that the place he lives is a hot place. Still, I don’t recall Mahogany Town being a hot place.
In the remakes, his choice of clothing is much more appropriate for his specialty type, where he dresses as if it’s snowy and windy. It also looks smart on him compared to the more casual fare of the old version. In terms of designs, Pryce is one of the more drastic ones compared to his Johto peers.
Johto’s Gym Leaders aren’t known to carry all new Pokémon. In fact, some use only Generation 1 Pokémon! Well, Pryce is one of the few that use one new Pokémon, which is Piloswine. If you are wondering, the others are Seel and Dewgong, hardly inspiring choices. Fortunately, the manga expanded his Pokémon to include a few other Ice-types as well. The only way to see a well-rounded team is to do a rematch, where we have a more expanded selection, including Mamoswine (presumably evolved from Piloswine).
His most prominent appearance is in the manga, where he was someone who seemed nice, but turned out to be the main antagonist. His quest for time travel meant that he needed Celebi, who only appears through the possession of rare objects found on the main legendary Pokémon. That is because he felt the need to travel back in time to save the Lapras that was gone. The Ice-types that he has are very skilled, such as one time where one of his Pokémon animated ice statues to give the illusion that the ice sculpture is moving.
In the sequel series HeartGold and SoulSilver, he returned from the lost trip from time to battle the creation trio before they do more damage. Of course, he got his new outfit as well. It’s interesting that of all Gym Leaders, Pryce is given something significant. It’s probably attributed to his age, which is ripe for ideas.
The anime is similar in that Pryce is played up as a bitter old man. The reason is similar in that he’s lost a Pokémon he has (Piloswine), though unlike the previous-mentioned scenario, at least said Pokémon is OK after all. It’s interesting since Ice-type Pokémon is now completely immune to the effects of freezing. It also means that Ash has a chance to get a new badge, and even if he’s not in a favourable position, at least he’s got the badge due to his forfeit after Piloswine getting tired.
Perhaps the fact that Pryce lost his Pokémon is a reference to his words on suffering much in his life. One way of suffering is to lose a loved one, and this is probably one way to do this since Pokémon is the focus, after all. It probably won’t work quite as well if the lost one is another person, I guess. Another trait he demonstrated is the skill in training, with decades of it under his belt. It helps that he does his daily meditation as well.
So far, Pryce is the most interesting Ice-type specialist. The manga did a good job expanding his character to heights normally unseen for a non-player character. He’s also looks quite nice in the remake games. Overall, he’s a great Ice-type specialist.
+ Great new design
+ Represents aged people as experienced
– Original design is lacking
– Original team is lacking
Like Lorelei, Glacia is an Elite Four member. It is interesting to note that Glacia’s name is the same as Glaceon’s Japanese name. It would be nice if Glacia eventually gets Glaceon. However, Glacia’s Japanese name is actually Prim, so there won’t be any same-language overlaps. Seeing that Hoenn is set to have new remakes, we shall know how a remade Glacia would look eventually.
Glacia looks like a European lady. If you ask me, based on the sprite, I thought that Glacia is old. Not as old as Agatha, but more like the 50’s in terms of age. So to see her look young seemed strange to me. One distinguishing feature that sets her apart from a conventional European lady is her belt. There is an overhang that I recently noticed, but I can’t quite make out that design choice.
Being an Elite Four member, her appearance in the anime is rather slim, and so far, there aren’t any appearances at all. If we’re lucky, we might see her get one later on, which worked for Agatha (she never appeared until the Generation 3 era). Her appearance in the manga is also limited, since Hoenn’s Elite Four only appeared during the showdown between Kyogre and Groudon to aid the mitigation of that crisis.
Hoenn’s particularly sparse with Ice-types, so her choice of Ice-types is more limited than Lorelei’s. She has two repeats, having two Glalie and two Sealeo. Walrein is the only one that isn’t repeated. I believe that if Elite Four could only have four Pokémon, as is the case in the two recent Elite Four groups, then this limitation won’t be quite as noticeable. Having an expanded Hoenn ‘Dex would help her team a lot, for with that, we might even see some extra choices like Cryogonal and Froslass (not necessarily Glaceon since Eevee is not Hoenn-native).
There isn’t a lot to talk about Glacia, so her section is the shortest so far. She is referred to have a “flaming passion for icy cold”, which is probably a play of words on contrasting characteristics. Being that that’s all we know about her, she’s not as interesting as other Ice-type specialists so far.
± Relatively simple design
– Very limited team
– Not much character
This batch of Ice-type specialists is low-key, so here’s hoping we have a more interesting bunch later on. The next batch of Ice-type specialists will be covered after the latter Generations’ Pokémon are covered, so it will be weeks before they will be looked at. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Thanks for reading.