Sableye



This is a pokemon I've reviewed before, so this is going to end up a shortened-down retread of some previous territory, except for the fact that Sableye was given a mega form in the years since I first talked about it. Exciting!!!

So, Sableye is one of those fan favorite pokemon I can completely get behind. It has absolutely earned its popularity through its darling personality, weird design and kickass concept. This was the first-ever dark/ghost pokemon, and before the introduction of the fairy typing, the two types cancelled out all weaknesses. This little guy once took "super effective" damage from nothing, though his rather low hit points made it only a meager advantage. Much more viable was the "prankster" ability it would later receive, which allowed non-damaging moves to always strike first, and with an arsenal of particularly obnoxious ones, Prankster Sableye quickly became a much-reviled competitive lead-in.


Conceptually, Sableye is a pokemon from deep beneath the Earth, a shadowy goblin that skulks in caves, mines for gemstones with its nasty claws and eats them, incorporating them into its body and even boasting eerie, crystallized eyeballs. Though small, reclusive and more mischievous than malevolent, Sableye are said to be feared by humans and believed to steal souls through their gaze.

This all sounds straight out of dark, ancient fairy folklore, but Sableye's real-world inspiration is quite a bit more modern:


The "Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter" of 1955 was once one of America's most sensationalized reports of alien visitation, but has faded to obscurity just about everywhere except Japan, where Western UFO's and cryptids remain popular figures in anime, manga and video games.

The "Hopkinsville Goblins" were described as small, almost monkey-like creatures, with fan-shaped ears, round heads, massive shining eyes, small legs and sharply taloned hands. Allegedly, the beings attempted to invade the isolated Kentucky homestead of the Sutton family, and were only warded off by firearms. The witnesses claim that bullets only bounced off of the goblin's skin with a metallic ringing sound, but would temporarily knock them down in slow motion, their alien bodies drifting to the ground like feathers.


With its connection to American UFOlogy, I long hoped that Sableye might evolve some day into some other supposedly-real space monster, and I drew these ideas up all the way back in 2012. I could probably do an awful lot better than this today, but you get the idea well enough.


It was ultimately not to be, but that's okay. I'm glad Sableye didn't turn into some sort of bat-winged demon or crystal dragon like so many other, less UFO-savvy artists speculated, and that instead, it received a mega form that only modestly builds on its design. Mega Sableye really only differs by being a tiny bit spikier, its eyes redder and its shark-teeth yellower, the power of mega evolution apparently pouring more into the generation of a single, giant ruby the little gremlin appears to greedily covet, showing it off while hiding behind it as a reflective shield. It's a cute, clever and unique way to go about a mega form, and I'm really thankful for the introduction of megas every time they retain what made a pokemon interesting rather than evolve it off into something completely different.

An anime short also gives us some insight into what's actually happening in this mega form, and it's so cute it hurts.



Sableye is absolutely without flaw, simultaneously one of Pokemon's cutest and creepiest concoctions.

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