The Houndour Family

If Skarmory is Gold and Silver's breakout steel type, the Houndour line has to be its definitive dark type. Look at this nasty little rottweiler! It's a dark type and a fire type, with what have to be additional, externalized bones it developed as protective armor. It's basically a hellhound, and it's going to get even hellhoundier.

We've already talked about Pokemon's little "satanism" scare back when we reviewed the Abra line, and it was still plugging along when the second generation brought us Houndoom a pokemon actually intended to invoke a Western devil, from its curved horns to its pointy tail. The skull helmet has even moved down to its chest, like some sort of occult pendant, though now it looks delightfully more like a little grey alien head. They were accused of Satanic conspiracy too, so it's all good. All that's really missing from Houndoom is a bright red color scheme, which could have been rectified by its shiny, but instead, shiny Houndoom is blue. BORING! At least Houndoom is cool looking as-is, and I love the face its making here. If it could make a horned hand with its paws, it totally would.

According to the pokedex, a burn caused by Houndoom never heals and never stops hurting. It's as if it really does breathe the flames of hell.

Houndoom would remain the most devilish and only truly devil-based pokemon until finally one-upped by its own Mega form, which wonderfully elaborates on everything that makes the pokemon cool. Its fangs are fanglier, its tail is forklier, its horns are hornier and its litte alien pendant has evolved into a gigantic, monstrous chest-skull with tusks. This is one nasty looking devil dog. Only the broken-looking bands on its legs throw me off, but I think I get the idea. Regular Houndoom has complete bands on its front paws, and they look just a little bit like shackles. Mega Houndoom kinda looks like it "broke loose" from its invisible chains. I don't know if that's really the point, but that's how I'm reading it.

Even Houndoom's English name is one of the coolest-sounding out there, and I'm just sad the anime never took the opportunity - as far as I know - to have them howling the word doom. Not even at the peak of the Zim years!?