MOMENTOUS OCCASION, today. STOP THE PRESSES!!! After 20 million years there is at long, long last an EARTHWORM Pokemon. For that matter there is now any annelid at all in Pokemon form, and as you can plainly see, it's also a little sweetheart! Orthworm is a pure steel type, surprisingly, rather than a ground or ground/steel combo, but it has the lovely new "Earth Eater" ability that causes ground-type moves to heal, rather than damage it! Of course!

The design is decent enough; it's a fat, mostly brick red cartoon earthworm with a tan underside, but its segments definitely look like metallic pieces. It has a fatter, more silver-colored segment just before its roughly egg-shaped head, with opens into a big toothless pac-man mouth and has a pair of tiny, friendly little blue eyes right on its front end. It also has a series of round blue pits down its sides, kind of like portholes or windows.

What's rather unexpected are what the game refers to as Orthworm's "tendrils," though "tendril" evokes a thin, whiplike appendage. These are six rubbery blue spheres on short stalks, which can pop in and out of the "windows" on Orthworm's silver body segment, and are used to "punch" its opponents. I'm not entirely sure what the thought process was behind these, but it's fairly cool to have a biological detail like this that isn't just lifted straight from the real animal.

If they were following a real earthworm more closely, we might be in trouble, because this body segment would have to be Orthworm's clitellum, which is where an earthworm keeps its reproductive pores and produces sperm. They wouldn't just leave us to wonder if Orthworm's knobby blue fists are giant spermatozoa. I mean...they wouldn't, would they?

My only complaint about Orthworm is the same one I had for Klawf: an Orthworm is another of the "titans" in this game, and a massive size is all that feels right for the design. Not just because it's a giant desert-dwelling worm ala Dune or at least Tremors, but because the blue portholes and large, metallic segments feel like they were meant to evoke a subway train. Of course a steel type subterranean worm Pokemon gets a subway motif! Duh!

But alas...Orthworm isn't even as long as its human child trainer is tall. It was begging to rival the size of Onyx, Gyarados or for that matter even a mere Arbok, and with such a short little body overall, I almost wonder if its number of segments were ever planned to vary by either evolution or by alternate form, a mechanic this generation actually gives to a completely different Pokemon already.

We also mentioned that the data for Toedscool and Toedscruel implies a scrapped, burrowing Gyarados lookalike, so I also wonder if that had anything to do with Orthworm. Could it have been reworked into this Pokemon, or did they just really want a proper earthworm and then felt the land-gyarados was too redundant with it?

Whatever decisions went into this one-off oddball, I'm still glad it exists. Even if, on one final note, its admittedly charming little eyes should have still been no eyes at all.

All Scarlet/Violet sprite animations ripped by adamsb0303!