We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Zigzagoon and Linoone, a pair of early-game Pokémon first found in Hoenn! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: nepryne)
In Hoenn, the new early-game mammal of this region is Zigzagoon, who evolves into Linoone. The Pokémon have a unique design choice of having jagged fur for the former and having streamlined fur for the latter, as if the Pokémon becomes more refined in movement and looks when it evolves. It’s like how many works of art start out rough early on, but the final product is polished, or how an animal is undeveloped when young, but becomes more developed when older.
Based on looks, Zigzagoon looks a lot like a raccoon, while Linoone looks a lot like a badger. Unlike Sentret and Furret, in which both Pokémon are based on animals that would be prey and predator, Zigzagoon and Linoone’s animal origins are at least similar, though the badger would seem to be stronger than a raccoon since the badger is more predatory (which makes sense in the context of evolution). Even though both Pokémon are based on different animals, they have names that come from “raccoon” except for Japanese and German, where the badger part is referenced.
The fur on both Pokémon tells something about them. For Zigzagoon, it has jagged fur from head to tail, which is indicative of its mobility in winding, because its attention is often drawn in things it sees on its way. In this way, Zigzagoon is not focused on where it goes. One hint about this is their footprint trails, where it’s mentioned that Zigzagoon’s trail is more zigzagged, so Linoone’s footprint trail is presumably straight. Indeed, Linoone is known for running in a line, so its streamlining is rigid. Both Pokémon’s fur colouring look most natural in the games where it looks like they are part of the body, especially Linoone, whereas the fur in the anime makes the Pokémon’s fur look like patches of skin, which ruins their look for me.
Based on the raccoon’s hoarding nature, Zigzagoon likes to find things it sees, so it must be a hoarder if it were to do this. It might even go to the extent of stealing things, but it didn’t know it is stealing, so it’s better to be secure with your belongings. The reason Zigzagoon likes to hoard is due to its curiosity, showing interesting in anything, regardless of value. Because of the practice of finding things, Zigzagoon developed a skill in doing so, which might be the basis of its Pickup ability. Initially, Pickup will find anything irrespective of level, but it requires higher levels to find better things in later games starting from Emerald, which might mean that Pickup becomes more skill-based for that Pokémon. Interestingly, in Emerald, Professor Birch is chased by Zigzagoon instead of Poochyena, probably because Zigzagoon is attracted to whatever Birch is having with him.
Linoone, on the other hand, is more predatory since it is stated to hunt for prey on land and in shallow waters. Since Linoone is based on a badger, this is a given. Linoone’s PokéDex entries usually explain how fast it is at running, which is useful for hunting. An advantage of going from point A to point B in a straight line is to take the shortest distance between both, so that must be why it favours this approach. It, however, does have some trouble with turning when it runs straight, so when it faces an obstacle it couldn’t get across, it either stops or slows down to go around it, or to make right-angle turns to keep the momentum. Like badgers, Linoone is blessed with sharp claws to catch its prey.
The abilities that both Pokémon possess are more inclined to the nature of a raccoon compared to a badger, since raccoons are scavengers compared to the predatory badger. The ability Pickup is based on the raccoon’s behaviour in hoarding things, while Gluttony is based on their scavenging. Quick Feet could go either way, and it seems to fit the badger more since that animal could make short sprints. To a lesser extent, one animal that Zigzagoon is based on is the tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog), which must be where its ability to Belly Drum might come from, considering how that folklore version of that animal does that.
Speaking of Belly Drum, the best thing that Linoone has in battling is to use Belly Drum to increase its Attack to the max, which works well with Gluttony to immediately boost one of its stats with a stat-increasing Berry, usually using Salac (Speed). Normally Belly Drum is risky on its own, but it could potentially obtain Extreme Speed, allowing it to attack first most of the time to make up for its reduced survivability. While Zigzagoon could do this too, it couldn’t use Gluttony since getting one with Extreme Speed requires Pokémon Box, a Generation 3 software for Gamecube. For Linoone, Generation 6 has an event that grants one with Extreme Speed, which is a bit easier to get a battle-ready one compared to using Pokémon Box.
Zigzagoon and Linoone have some useful abilities that make them cool. As an early-game Pokémon, Zigzagoon is quite useful to have for its ability to pick up some useful items in your quest, while Linoone is not bad if you are into using it for HMs. Linoone’s “straightforward” pattern is also quite fascinating. That’s not all, because Zigzagoon is quite cute and Linoone looks smooth. Overall, they are quite likeable Normal-types that are part of what makes Hoenn memorable.
+ Polished abilities when evolved
+ Contrasting movement patterns
+ Useful talents in-game
– Fur looks less natural in anime
Zigzagoon’s TCG Card
Much like a common animal, Zigzagoon is shown to be hiding in grass that nobody might see until they step on it. In fact, it’s such a common scenario that it translates to real life by having real grass and a real Zigzagoon, except that’s a toy Zigzagoon. Seriously, this variation of Zigzagoon is pretty charming thanks to the use of real world elements to re-enact the discovery of finding a cute animal in the grass.
Linoone’s TCG Card
Linoone does what it does best, that is to zoom in a straight line. Efforts to zip straight has no doubt leave behind a trail of sand, making anything that sees it wonder what reckless speedster could possibly be. Perhaps if they see Linoone’s footprints, they may know the cause of the sand clouds, assuming the clouds of sand didn’t cover the tracks already.
For Zigzagoon and Linoone, this is an Event-only move, which you might think is an odd choice to give, given that the other Pokémon have moves they could at least learn naturally. Actually, since Linoone puts in a lot of charge into its straight movements, this is a move that represents Linoone. Besides, there is an event where you can obtain Linoone with Extreme Speed (though that’s in Japan).
Extreme Speed’s combination of huge priority and good power makes it one of the most desirable attacks in existence for a Physical attacker (so it’s not that needed for Togekiss). The nature of this move comes from how the user is able to move at a swift pace towards their target, creating a lot of momentum as to strike them harder than Quick Attack could ever accomplish.
This move is best paired with an Attack-boosting move, such as Swords Dance or Belly Drum (in Linoone’s case). This is mainly because with a priority of +2, you don’t need to worry too much about needing enough Speed to move first all the time. This is especially helpful for Pokémon who aren’t naturally fast like Lucario and Dragonite.
Of course, this move isn’t totally unstoppable because there are types that resist Normal or have a lot of Defence, so they are the best answers to an Extreme Speed sweeper. In Inverse Battle, there are no types that resist Normal, which makes Extreme Speed even deadlier there, unless your answer has a lot of Defence.
Overall, Extreme Speed is the most appreciated move to have for any Pokémon with an inclination for Physical offence, and you can bet they will want to use it whenever they can.
That’s all for today’s article. We’re done with all the Pokémon, so let’s move onto the other aspects of the Normal-type I would like to cover. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Other Moves