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Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Topic Tags: cakenalysis, duck pokemon, ducklett, ducks, golduck, pokemon news, porygon, psyduck
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Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Discovering Duck Pokemon PokEdit News
Welcome to the first Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon. Today I’m going to be taking a close look at our favorite Pokemon species that closely resemble the Anatidae family of birds (specifically the duck breed). How many duckish Pokemon are there and how many have sneaked past our radar, making their way into our games? Does Game Freak have a hidden duck agenda? Let’s find out by taking a close look at all the possible candidates.

Candidate 1: Psyduck
psyduck discovering duck pokemon
Psyduck is number 054 in the National PokeDex and the first Pokemon species to resemble a duck. He actually has the word “duck” in his name! Now, I’ve heard people argue that Psyduck is supposed to be a Platypus Pokemon, but that’s simply not the case. The original Japanese name for Psyduck is “Koduck”, which in Japanese, literally means “baby duck”.

Does this look like a Psyduck? Nope.
psyduck is not a platypus

I’m not surprised they changed his name when localizing the game for the English speaking world. “Baby Duck” would have been a pretty lame Pokemon name. I assume they went with the “PSY” in his name because he tends to learn a lot of Psychic moves (even though he’s Water Type only). In GEN V, he can legally learn 13 different Psychic type moves.


pokemon baby duck kodakku
Psyduck actually exhibits characteristic of an baby duck. He’s short, stubby, and yellow like a real baby duck. He also tilts his head in puzzlement as if confused. If you’ve ever seen a real baby duck roaming around then you’ll probably notice the resemblance.

If you're still not convinced then you might want to think again. The games actually list him as a Duck Pokemon in the PokeDex entries. I think my case has been made for Psyduck.

Candidate 2: Golduck
golduck discovering duck pokemon
Golduck is number 055 in the National Dex and is the direct evolution of Psyduck. I know that some Pokemon actually change into a different animal species when they evolve. But, for Golduck, that doesn't seem to be the case.

You might be thinking this can’t possibly be a duck because it’s beak has a pointy tip. It’s not wide and rounded like a traditional duck bill. Well, I invite you to take a look at the picture of the following bird; the Muscovy Duck:
muscovy duck with pointy beak
Besides the hideous nature of this ducks face, it actually has a pointed duck bill just like Golduck. I’m sure there are other duck breeds in real life that have a similar beak as well.

Another characteristic that tends to pull people out of the duck pool is the fact that Golduck is blue (like the shiny version of Psyduck). Golduck is even blue in his shiny form! But that doesn’t rule him out from being a duck either. There is a place in the southern hemisphere... a mysterious and enchanted place where ducks are printed on the currency and the Mallards are always blue. That place is New Zealand, so let me introduce you to Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos (also know as The Blue Duck).
the blue duck
Now, I know this duck is actually a dark slate-grey color. But it does have a blue sheen to it. And a duck is actually printed on the $10 dollar note in New Zealand. That's just cool.

Another duck that looks blue is the Black Cayuga Drake. Sadly, this duck is almost exclusively used for egg and meat production. I think PETA should start worrying about the Black Cayuga Duck and stop worrying about my Pokemon games.

Black Cayuga Drake (a duck)
black cayuga drake duck

Some people have speculated that Golduck is actually based on the mythical Japanese folklore creature known as the Kappa. And, while I can agree that he has some features of the Kappa (like the Humanoid form, webbed phalanges, and a beak); I’m not convinced that Golduck is more Kappa than duck. Kappa are generally depicted with large turtle shells on their backs and are almost always green in color.

This is a Kappa. Doesn't look like a duck.
a kappa not a duck

I’m going to close this entry with a deathblow leaving little room for debate on this issue. As with Psyduck, Golduck is listed as a Duck Pokemon in the National PokeDex. Enough said.

Candidate 3: Farfetch'd
farfetchd discovering duck pokemon
Another duck from the first Generation is Farfetch’d. Game Freak sure had a lot of Pokemon up there sleeves back then. I don’t see how anyone could really debate whether or not this is a duck Pokemon. He looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and bears gifts of green onions like a duck? It is believed that Farfetch’d’s original Japanese name, Kamonegi, is based off an old Japanese proverb that translates roughly to “a duck comes bearing a leek”.  The meaning of this seems to be “something surprising yet convenient”. It’s like “doubly good luck” or a “pleasant coincidence”.

Farfetch’d is specified to be a Wild Duck species in the games. So, Farfetch’d is a no brainer.

Bonus Fact: Farfetch'd is one of the only Pokemon in the games that is hinted to as being used for food.

I'm sorry Farfetch'd.
farfetchd i'm sorry

Candidate 4: Ducklett
ducklett discovering duck pokemon
You may have noticed that I just jumped from GEN I all the way to GEN V... landing on Pokemon 580, Ducklett. There seems to be a fairly large gap without any high quality duck Pokemon.

The original Japanese name for Ducklett is Koaruhie. You probably remember that the original name for Psyduck is Koduck, which also starts with “Ko”. This part of the name refers to it being a baby. Now, the next part of the name is “A-Ru-Hi-E”. The word “A-Hi-Ru” is Japanese for Duck, so if you just switch the “Ru” and the “Hi” in Ducklett’s original Japanese name then you get the word for duck. Pretty simple, right?

As with Psyduck and Golduck, “Duck” is already in the name. However, it’s species is described as “Water Bird”. We all know that ducks are water birds, but I think there is a different reason for not filing Ducklett directly under Duck Pokemon. Ducklett evolves into Swanna, which is a Swan inspired Pokemon. It seems that Ducklett and Swana are based off the literary fairy tale, “The Ugly Duckling”. The original tale is about a homely little duckling that get’s picked on by the other farm animals, but then eventually grows up to become a beautiful swan. The mother in the story is actually a duck herself, so I believe that the ugly duck (or Ducklett) is truly a duck Pokemon. Then it magically becomes a Swan(na) later on.

Since Ducklett’s evolutionary form is a swan, some people have speculated that Ducklett is actually a Cygnet.

These are not ducks.
pari of cygnets not ducks
I’m still sticking with Ducklett being a duck Pokemon though. I think he looks more like a Duck than any other duck Pokemon and he’s got duck in the name. If they wanted him to be a baby Swan then they would have named him Swanlett or Cyanglett.

Now, I think that about wraps up all of the obvious candidates for duck Pokemon. But this article isn’t over yet. There are still some other possible duck Pokemon and a few Wannabe ducks.

Wannabe Duck 1: Swanna
swanna discovering duck pokemon
We just went over Swanna’s previous evolutionary form, Ducklett. And we’ve already established that Swanna and Ducklett are based off the tale “The Ugly Duckling”. But, I think there is a twist to all of this. I don’t think Ducklett is ugly at all. Actually, I think he’s quite a bit cuter than Swanna. I might even say that Swanna is the “ugly duckling” between the two of them. If you agree with this idea then you’re mind is probably already ruminating about the possibility of this being some sort of Bizarro Universe version of The Ugly Duckling story where the roles have been reversed. If that’s the case, then Swanna most certainly wishes it was a Duck like it was before you didn’t press the B button to stop it from evolving.

Swans aren’t always beautiful... especially when they aren’t ducks.
ugly swan


Wannabe Duck 2 and 3: Porygon and Porygon2
porygon and porygon2 discovering duck pokemon
There’s no denying that the original Porygon form from the first Generation of Pokemon has deep notes of duck. The concept of Porygon comes from a combination of Polygons and Origami. But, it’s definitely duck shaped polygon. That makes for a total of 4 duck Pokemon from the first 151 originals. But, it seems that Game Freak’s duck infatuation was short lived, because there were very few real duck Pokemon released thereafter.

Porygon’s second evolutionary form, added in Generation II, has duck qualities too. In fact, it almost looks identical to Porygon except that all of it’s polygonal edges have been rounded off to make a more smooth and glossy looking virtual duck Pokemon. It’s easy to picture a gaggle of Porygon and Porygon2 wading thru a virtual pond like any other three dimensional duck.

Wannabe Duck 4: Porygon-Z
porygon-z discovering duck pokemon
Although Porygon-Z’s two prior evolutionary forms are duck inspired, this form doesn’t seem to resemble a duck very much. He seems to have taken a similar evolutionary path as our homo erectus friends and decided to stand upright. Had you just seen Porygon-Z without knowing about the original two forms, then I doubt that you would have confused this virtual Pocket Monster with a duck.


Wannabe Duck 5: Cresselia
cresselia discovering duck pokemon
It is believed that Cresselia’s general body shape is based after a swan. But, who’s to say that Cresselia’s model couldn’t have also be inspired by ducks. Both being buoyant birds of the brook, they tend to exhibit similar characteristic. And who hasn’t refereed to Cresselia as a Giant Flying Purple Duck Monster before?

purple space duck cresselia

Wannabe Duck 6: Magmar
magmar discovering duck pokemon
Magmar is a good example of a Duck Pokemon gone wrong. His general design seems to have been more duck oriented in GEN, I, IV, and V. But, in his GEN III and IV sprites, his duck bill looked more like an Anteater’s snout.
Magmars original name in Japanese is Boober, which seems to suggest that his design is based after a booby (which is a type of bird, but not a duck).
Magmar wants to be a duck Pokemon, but he just doesn’t fit the bill.
(I cannot be held responsible for any bad duck Pokemon puns)

Wannabe Duck 7: Ludicolo
ludicolo discovering duck pokemon
Ludicolo is a pretty ludacris looking Pokemon. It seems to be a combination of a duck and a pineapple infused with a heavy dose of salsa dance music.
I don’t know if a dancing pineapple with a duck bill and sombrero really meet the requirements for being a duck Pokemon. I think you’ll have to work that one out on your own.

real life ludicolo

Conclusion:
That concludes my Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon. I hope you learned something about duck Pokemon and their importance in the Pokemon Universe. Good Duck!
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:48 am

I've been getting a little flack about the Psyduck analysis. It seems that some people feel the picture of the Platypus demonstrates how he's actually not a duck.  I agree that he does exhibit some characteristic of a Platypus, but I don't think that makes him a Platypus. Pokemon tend to not be exact replicates of the animal that they are based from (sometimes only sharing a few traits). But, if we're going to get specific, I invite you to take a close look at Psyduck's tail and feet. Psyduck's webbed hands and feet have three toes just like a duck has. Where as, a Platypus has 5 toes on it's hands and feet. Psyducks tail comes to a point more like a baby duck, where as a Platypus' talk is more flat and wide.
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:33 pm

Plus the platypus has claws and the psyduck is clawless.
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:26 pm

nikkiten wrote:
Plus the platypus has claws and the psyduck is clawless.

Correct!

By the way, Smoochum is starting to look like a duck.
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:52 pm

I want an addendum to Discovering Duck Pokemon describing my transformation!
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:01 pm

There might have to be a sequel to this post. Perhaps there are more ducks than we can imagine! OMG! Kyurem is starting to look like a duck now! And I found this!
psyrem
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:08 pm

Oh my goodness! That is a very duck-like kyurem...is he an ice duck?
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Not sure what type he is, but I hope it's Ice and Duck. wah
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby SkyDuck20 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:30 pm

Hey fellow duck lovers! I am here to inform that I believe that swellow is a combination of a Swallow and a Duck! If you look at it from above, it has a flat beak/bill. Also, its wings are pointed which are an inication of duck like features. Bulbapedia and the Pokedex both state that it searches for warm areas, which is exactly what ducks do. Swellow also lives in the Hoenn Region, a very water-bird friendly area as seen in Wingull. Finally, Swellow has a crest that greatly resembles the same crest as a wood duck. Oh, and one more thing, the feathers of swellow are very colorful and bright just like most male ducks and his tails resemble two northern pintail duck tails. In conclusion, Swellow must be a duck pokemon as well!
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Re: Cakénalysis: Discovering Duck Pokemon

Postby LoganDuck » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:14 pm

Thank you very much for this post! I love ducks and duck-Pokémons are obviously my favorite.
Looking forward to read the part 2! 
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