Capsakid and Scovillain

This is actually kind of a momentous event, here: for as long as Pokemon has existed, fans have speculated on the possibility of a grass/fire type based on a hot pepper. Named after capsaicin, this Pokemon is only pure grass type, but now you can guess what comes next. Until it becomes spicy enough to warrant fire typing, Capsakid is an oddly kappa-like creature, a little green gremlin with a beaky upper jaw and a white calyx atop its big, round head. It also has a single "tooth" in its beak that resembles a pepper seed, and its large eyes look like they're just dark holes cut in the pepper. I'd say this design isn't immediately too memorable for a Pokemon, but I appreciate that it didn't go for too obvious a design; not just a bell pepper with limbs or a creature with a bell pepper head, but an original creature with subtle use of pepper elements.

When exposed to a fire stone, Capsakid evolves into Scovillain, named delightfully after the Scoville scale used to measure spiciness. It now has a little dinosaur-like plant body, with chunky legs and smaller leaf-like forelimbs, with two heads on thin green stalks! How long has it been since we've had a Pokemon with multiple heads on one torso? The Pokedex explains that the red head produces spicy chemicals it can ignite into fire, while the green head is made "vicious" by the spicy compounds "stimulating its brain."

Scovillain's two heads look more like actual peppers than Capsakid, but still not too bluntly. They kind of look like snapping turtle heads, really, except for the empty eye sockets and the pepper seed teeth, and it's an interesting touch that the lower teeth penetrate all the way through the "lower jaws," sticking out through the pepper skin.

This is the only Pokemon to learn the signature move "Spicy Extract," which is a fun idea, but in practice fairly useless. It greatly lower's the targets defense stat, but raises their attack stat by just as much. This is only even "usable" against special attackers who won't benefit from a boost of their physical offense, but there are already many other moves in the game that will lower the opponent's defenses without a downside. A spicy themed move, especially for the first-ever grass Pokemon, should have just been a grass type attack that inflicts "burn" status!

If I have a design criticism, it's that Scovillain still feels a little more like a middle stage evolution, especially since it looks so dinosaur-like but remains rather small. It feels a lot like it's gearing up into a big hydra-like pepper kaiju thing, which already describes a lot of fan made peppermons, so I'm sure it's what a lot of players hoped for when they first saw this design. Even if it never evolves, though, it's a neat little guy.

All Scarlet/Violet sprite animations ripped by adamsb0303!