There comes a time in most players’ lives when a fellow connoisseur of gaming will inevitably ask you: “What is your favorite pokémon?” How can you not have one? Everyone’s at least heard of Pokémon, if not invested several years of their lives playing through the franchise’s long list of titles. As common as it is to have people proclaim that Charizard or Pikachu or the various evolutions of Eevee as their favorite, mine is a little more benign.
Dunsparce, my favorite pokémon ever, got an evolution in the latest generation of games in the franchise, Scarlet & Violet. Having learned this, I immediately grew very concerned. Yet my fear was short-lived—Dudunsparce is not only a great new creature to discover, but its existence cements Game Freak as a comedy powerhouse that will stop at nothing to amuse itself by dashing the hopes of fans everywhere.
For several years, Dunsparce has been my favorite pokémon almost as a joke. My initial fondness for it came from the fact that it seems to be among the most ignored species to exist within the franchise’s many games. It rarely appears in the official anime and manga adaptations of the franchise, and many of its appearances in mainline games are as rare finds. It’s also kind of a garbage pokémon, statistically speaking. Almost as if the poor thing just wants to be left alone.
How could I not come to be fond of this weird-looking idiot? My contrarian nature aided in my ironic enjoyment, which transformed that irony into genuine adoration. For the last few playthroughs of Silver or any other title that included it, I would add it to my main party, guaranteed. Whether it ends up being useful or not (it’s actually all right in most cases!) is irrelevant; Dunsparce is my buddy and it comes with me unconditionally.
Of course, Dunsparce is perfect. Everything about its inadequacy, rareness, and visual goofiness is what makes it so precious to me. Because of this, I desired Game Freak to leave it alone. Sure, give it some relevance by adding it to games, but for the love of everything, do not give it an evolution. Don’t make it “cool”! Don’t make it “epic”! All of these fan designs of Dunsparce evolving into some winged serpent dragon type makes me squint in disgust. Its sterile essence is everything!
To my horror, they did. Upon the day of Scarlet & Violet‘s release, I checked the pokédex out of curiosity and saw Dunsparce had… an evolution! Bodily functions failing, emergency protocols surging within my head as it tried to calm my nerves. My favorite thing was going to be tarnished, because those at Game Freak just cannot help themselves but poke and prod at previously established specimens.
Only… it wasn’t.
Dunsparce evolves into Dudunsparce upon leveling up while knowing the move “Hyper Drill.” This information isn’t meant to convey anything to the overall point of this piece. I only wished to provide it for its own sake.
Upon evolution, Dunsparce gets a second torso, an additional jaw spike, a second pair of mini-wings, and a slightly different tail. There also lies a 1/100 chance to get a three-torso evolution for three times the fun. For those keeping track at home, what’s the difference between Dunsparce and Dudunsparce?
Game Freak’s idea of providing Dunsparce with an evolution was to do the absolute most bare minimum of a job in changing anything about it. Their idea of bringing Dunsparce to relevance—as Dudunsparce’s statistical output is a dramatic increase—was to add more of what it already is. An additional body, body part and limbs, and an extra “Du” to its name. Oh, and it’s a lot bigger.
Go ahead and google “dunsparce evolution fanart” right now. I promise there is very little in terms of 18+ material. See how fans with artistic merit imagined potential evolutions for the little derpy thing. Some of them, admittedly, are pretty interesting. One thing most have in common, however, is that they are not Dudunsparce. These artists took “evolution” literally; Game Freak saw it as an opportunity to troll.
How disappointing it may be to many that it turned out this way. That it did not receive the evolution “it deserves.” As a counterpoint, allow me to state: what exactly does it “deserve”? As previously stated, Dunsparce was already perfect. There was nothing they could do to improve it. So instead of making it some tacky-looking dragon thing with a flair similar to that of Dragonair, they just made it into building blocks and pressed “+.”
A thinly-veiled dad joke. Dudunsparce harnesses this previous statement’s power. The bare minimum in delivery and punchline, but just clever enough to have people go, “Okay, that constitutes as humor.” So many levels of minimalist jabs amount to what is ultimately a hysterical premise for an evolution.
A pokémon hidden away, not viable for battle, garnering a sizable fanbase of supporters wishing for its time to shine through something new! Fanart aplenty, some (me) not wishing for any evolution, and an impasse to come. Behold, Dunsparce’s true glory: itself, extended. And bigger. Blink and you miss it. The biggest change is what doesn’t. Those who wanted more are crushed; those who wanted nothing are ecstatic. Polarity, man.
Dudunsparce is the greatest evolution of all time. Not because it evolved from the greatest thing to ever exist, but because it’s barely an evolution. If anything, Dunsparce simply stumbled upon the ability to reproduce asexually, like cells splitting, and lost the ability halfway through the process of addition. In spite of everything, everyone, and themselves, it remains exactly what it always was: kind of dumb and odd. What better representation is there than that?
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Thank you for your time. Have a great rest of your day.