We are back with another round of defining each type found in Pokémon. In this series, we analyse the Pokémon found in each type to determine how a type is defined. We previously covered the three main types Grass, Fire and Water. Now we’ll be covering another three popular types: Fighting, Psychic, and Dark.
If you are ready, you may proceed.
The first type we will start with today is the Fighting-type. Pokémon is about battling monsters, so there is definitely a lot of fighting, which means everybody’s a fighter. It would seem that Fighting is redundant because of this, but it takes the best of the fighters to be called the “Fighting-type”. In other words, they are more specialised fighters that utilise the art of fighting to their advantage, as well as having the mind of a fighter.
One of the main characteristics in the Fighting-type is the variety of fighting styles that the Pokémon have. For example, sumo wrestling is Hariyama’s talent, Hawlucha the luchador, Medicham the yoga practitioner and Hitmontop is a capoeira fighter. While the Fighting-types contains several different disciplines within its family, some of them find the choice of good old fisticuffs a suitable fighting style, if Primeape, Poliwrath, Breloom and Infernape is of any indication. In fact, Iron Fist is most common on a Fighting-type (the two non-Fighting families with this ability learn several Fighting attacks themselves).
The Fighting-type could also represent strength. There are several attacks with high base power, including High Jump Kick, Superpower and Close Combat. The Fighting-types we have are often said to be able to showcase feats of strength using their body parts as weapons. For example, Scrafty could smash concrete blocks with its kicks and Heracross uses its horn to overthrow things that outweigh it. Chesnaught is another example of a strong Pokémon, having a tackle that flips a 50-ton tank, as well as having a resilient shell. Perhaps their agility is also used to their advantage to unleash the power, such as Breloom’s lightning-fast punches.
Perhaps the name of the Fighting-type isn’t just for those who are physically strong, but also a strong heart. Some of the Fighting-types have a strong sense of justice, allowing them the will to make their strength known. This is best shown by those with Justified, and among Fighting-types, there are the Swords of Justice and Gallade. They could even be quite friendly and loyal. Emboar and Pangoro may be merciless, but they care for their friends.
The odd Fighting-types out are Primeape’s family and Lucario. There is nothing honourable about Primeape’s family, nor are they known of strength. In fact, they are known for their anger and persistence. So they might fit into the “good a punching” category. Lucario is another one. Its main draw is its aura powers. Normally, aura is associated with the spirit, so it would functionally be something Ghost-type, but it is known as a Fighting-type attack. Perhaps this could be attributed to how it is powered by the fighting spirit instead of just any spirit.
Now that this is done, let’s go through on what defines the Fighting-type:
- Specialist in a Fighting Discipline
- Powerful Puncher
- Strength as a Power
- Motivated and Powered by Justice
- Have a Fighting Spirit
While the Fighting-type is strong in body, the Psychic-type is strong in mind. Thanks to their focus in mind, they are their thought to be stronger because the mind is more powerful than the body since it controls the body (mind over matter, anyone?). This could be the reason Psychic is advantageous over Fighting. Perhaps their mind powers is too strong in Generation 1 that countermeasures are practically required to control them.
The Psychic-type is defined by their strong mind, so naturally, those with a Psychic-type are known to be able to manipulate things with their mind well. It could be as simple as using telekinesis to move things around or control an object, and it could also be used to read or influence other minds. It might even be that they use psychic powers to invisibly impact their target. It’s the most common sign something is a Psychic-type, although it’s not a surefire one (Psyduck is most definitely not a Psychic-type despite behaving like one).
It seems simple to define the Psychic-type as a mind master, but there are various ways it could be used. For one, they could predict the future, allowing the ability of foresight and even unleash a strike. When occupied in the mind, Psychics could even be detached from the gravity’s pull and levitate, enabling them to overcome their weight. This is the reason so many Psychic-types are depicted as flying. Quite a few could teleport into other places with that power. Some specific ways psychic powers could be used is to grant real wishes (Jirachi), generate a fiery vortex (Delphox) and luck (Victini).
Psychics could even have the ability to manipulate the environment, albeit only temporarily. Trick Room is a bizarre effect that change the way speed works, Gravity drops the fliers, Magic Room renders items ineffective and Wonder Room change the way defence works. Gardevoir is even said to be able to create a black hole out of thin air. Celebi is a time traveller, which is a form of environment manipulation (to itself, at least).
Intelligence is another trait that Psychic-types might possess. Alakazam is the most popular example of a Psychic that is intelligent. Perhaps as a result of a developed mind, it could solve problems efficiently as well. Besides Alakazam, Latios and Latias have the intelligence to understand human speech. The lake trio is an interesting case. Uxie is associated with intelligence, but the other two are talented in other places. Azelf is willpower and Mesprit is emotion. In this way, their wisdom on those subjects could be a factor on the intelligence aspect of a Psychic-type.
There are Psychic-types associated with outer space, so basically cosmic power is related to psychics (Cosmic Power is a Psychic-type move). Examples of space-related Pokémon include Solrock, Lunatone, Jirachi, Deoxys and Elgyem. There might be even Pokémon only vaguely related to the cosmos, mainly Starmie (the core sends signals to the night sky) and Cresselia (who is associated to the moon). However, anything moon-related is Fairy instead, with Moonlight and Moonblast being Fairy moves.
The Psychic-type has a decent number of oddities. Girafarig doesn’t seem to be related to psychics, but its double-sided body could have telepathic communication. Woobat and Swoobat are Psychic because having echolocation might have something to do with it. Jynx doesn’t seem to display any traits found on Psychic-types, but it could be reasoned that its seductiveness is a hypnotic ability. Wobbuffet is likewise the same, not displaying Psychic traits. Perhaps its inner focus to the endurance it takes make it suited for that type. Moreover, it could even take its foe with it with Destiny Bond.
So there you have it. The Psychic-type is harder to analyse than I thought. Now let’s list down what defines the Psychic-type:
- Manipulative Mind Powers
- Related to Outer Space
- Environment Manipulator
Finally, the Dark-type is covered. Since I covered the Dark-type more comprehensively before, it is easier to talk about it. Firstly, the Dark-type is referred to as an Evil-type in Japan, which would explain some similarities among them. That’s not to say they are all evil, but that’s a general rule.
Evilness could be the reason for a Pokémon’s Dark-type. This is how Malamar is a Dark-type, since it uses its psychic powers for its own benefit. It’s interesting to note that Pancham requires another Dark-type to evolve into a Dark-type itself, which would suggest an evolution through bad influence.
Dark-type moves are usually more on the pragmatic approach, and most of them so far have certain effects that will either disrupt a foe or benefit the user in a sinister way. In this category, there is a move that raises its power for every stat boost the opponent has, a move that makes that hurts the target even if they escape and a move that gets the first strike if the foe wants to attack. With moves like these, it seems like Dark-type moves are made to make things harder for the opponent.
One thing the Dark-type could have is instinctive ruthlessness, such as Tyranitar and Krookodile. They are characterised as such because their rage is destructive and sometimes inescapable. Perhaps they could be ruthless in that they prefer to dispose the weak in order to take advantage of them, as shown by Mandibuzz and Cacturne.
Mischief and underhandedness also describe the Dark-type well. Quite a good number of Dark-types are inherent pranksters. They have this instinct to cause mischief, probably because it looks amusing to them, but it’s perhaps their way of survival as well. Greninja is a ninja, which relies on sneaky techniques to gain an advantage.
Some of the Pokémon are Dark-types because of their association with darkness. The best examples are Umbreon and Darkrai. The former is more towards being a night Pokémon, though it has a survival technique: poisonous sweat. Darkrai is known as a “Pitch Black” Pokémon, and its ability is to cause nightmares on sleepers, just through influence.
There are even Dark-types that function as a group, making the fact that they are “evil” by fighting in higher numbers justified, and there are quite a number of Pokémon evolutionary families that function this way, like Honchkrow’s, Mightyena’s, Bisharp’s, Scrafty’s and Houndoom’s. It seems that they are characterised by their strengths, where the leader is determined by either the strongest of the group or having the largest crest in Scrafty’s case. Any kind of loss within the group will not be tolerated, whether it’s the leader or their members. The strength-driven behaviour does give the Pokémon a motivation to live and do their best, but it may also incite fear of losing. They can even be vicious at anything not in their group or anything edible! Perhaps these two characteristics define their Dark-type quite well.
Absol doesn’t quite fit the mould of the Dark-type since it avoids several things common among Dark-types from ruthlessness and mischief (it is a more honourable Pokémon), so the best explanation is that its association with disaster is reason for its Dark-type. Yveltal might be a Dark-type because it is associated with death, a normally hopeless condition that causes despair, not due to being evil (even its signature move Oblivion Wing is not Dark-type). Disaster and death are things that are met with sadness, so that might be the reason for that Dark-type.
That’s it for the Dark-type. As always, here are the rundown on what defines the Dark-type:
- Inherently Evil
- Instinctive Ruthlessness
- Mischief and Underhandedness
- Associated with Darkness
- Pack Mentality Governed by Dominance
- Symbol that Induces Hopelessness
The three types we covered are not as simple as the basic elemental types, because they are not elemental in a general sense, but they are more of “talent” types where their specialty is based around their powers and philosophies. A knight, magician and ninja/thief all think differently, though they are equally effective with their different strengths that they could even be great teammates.
The next article will cover another three types we haven’t covered yet. What will they be? That’s for you to find out next week. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.
Thanks for reading.