Top Ten: Scariest Pokémon

Hallowe’en arrives early at the Dojo as we count down some of the Gastl’iest Pokémon!

By Joseph Nelson. Posted 08/22/2012 14:30 Comment on this     ShareThis

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9. Paras and Parasect

Paras and Parasect artwork

This may seem like a bizarre entry; they’re just bugs, aren’t they? Well, no, not entirely. Those mushrooms on its back may seem like just your typical Pokémon quirk, but in fact, even in game they are unnatural. Paras are not born with those fungi sprouting out of its back– they grow there gradually, after being peppered with spores from its mother. But they’re not only growing out of it either– they’re also sapping nutrients from it. They have a symbiotic relationship, and Paras is the host. That may seem all well and good, because Paras has a benefit from this relationship too (it’s able to use the mushrooms’ spores in its defence), but the Dex entry for Crystal tells us the mushrooms order Paras to forage for juice from tree roots. It has no choice in this– it is ORDERED to. What happens if the Paras refuses? Well…

Once the Paras evolves, it is essentially braindead. The fungus on its back has grown to such a size that it is bigger than the creature itself. Look at its eyes! Those milky white glazed-over eyes! Parasect is a zombie, helpless under the relentless control of the tochukaso mushroom. It controls what it does, what it thinks, and continues to release its paralysing, poisoning, sleep-inducing spores. Not only this, but Parasect’s spores become stronger as it grows larger. Add to this the fact that they drain the nutrients out of trees until they die, before quickly moving on to another tree staright after. Oh, and the small matter of draining the poor bug’s life force until it’s a lifeless husk. It then moves on to another bug to continue this cycle.

The scariest thing? This fictional mushroom is based on a REAL ONE. Ophiocordyceps sinensis (or caterpillar fungus) germinates inside its subject, mummifying it from the inside out, killing it slowly as it drains its life away. It then bursts forth from the dead insect. Delightful.

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