Sandy Shocks

Okay. Sure. Prehistoric Magneton. An ancient cave magnets from dinosaur times. Alright!! No problem!!! I guess I should finally acknowledge that these "prehistoric" monsters are also possibly supposed to have a sort of punk rock, maybe glam rock vibe to them. In this Magneton "ancestor," the upper, central Magnemite has some purple "eye makeup," a row of four black dots under the eye that resemble a spooky smile, and black poofs of spiky "hair" attached to both its bolts and horseshoe magnets, which are of course supposed to represent a bunch of metal shavings, like Probopass or Alolan Golem. Meanwhile, the two lower mites each have one greatly enlarged magnet that they walk on like a set of legs, and then there's a hovering "tail" formed from screws, ending in one more poof of metal.

Now an electric/ground type, it's definitely something, I guess. I actually kind of like its overall esthetic and intent, but I think it has maybe a few too many elements. If you look at classic Magneton, you don't really need any explanation that what you're seeing is a little creature made of magnetized metal. You've got some cute, one-eyed metallic spheres, some screws, and some horseshoe magnets. Simple and obvious! Adding the "hair," the tail, and the leg gimmick kind of starts to bury that elegance, and that's kind of a gripe I have with a number of Pokemon variants and evolutions over the years; some work all the same if you don't know what they're referencing, like this generation's "convergent" creatures. You don't need to know Diglett exists to appreciate some cute little garden eels! You don't need to know about Tentacool to understand Toedscool, either; it's just an odd little squiddy looking walking fungus, a fantastical creature you might expect in any sci-fi setting.

But if you don't know what Magneton or Pokemon is in general, Sandy Shocks here is just a mess of gibberish, isn't it? Like dressing a character from one series in a Halloween costume from another series. And even if you do know and perhaps love Magneton, you still might not parse the intent of this design without having either "cave beasts" theme or rock music motifs spelled out for you, not to mention that's all a bit silly anyway, even for this series. Wooly cave magnets? I guess that absurdity itself is the appeal, and it's still a chance for Magneton lovers to have something other than Magnezone, but honestly, they'd have been better off making this a paradox Magnemite, just a single gothed-out magnet creature. I think that'd be cute enough! I guess it's the legs that are too much. It's a funny idea, I get it, I like it on paper, but it pushes the design juuuuust over the edge for me, for whatever reason. It just becomes something a little bit too gimmicky, too "memey," too over-cooked.

All Scarlet/Violet sprite animations ripped by adamsb0303!