Everyone walk the dinosaur

I had no idea what a Tropius was until about 12 hours ago, when one randomly appeared on my Pokéwalker. Now I’ve caught a few of them, and I’m pretty sure it may be the entire reason God invented videogames. (Personally, I consider the story of how He appeared to Ralph Baer in a burning vacuum tube to be canon rather than apocrypha.)

Why is Tropius great? Well, let’s see. It’s a brontosaurus, so that’s nice. But it’s also a palm tree. Its fronds form wings, which means it is a flying brontosaurus. As brontos were herbivorous dinosaurs, this makes Tropius a cannibal. And reading its profile, I realize its beard is actually made of bananas that began to sprout there because it like bananas so much that it ate them all them time and its body eventually started just growing them itself. This of course makes no damn sense, but that just lends to its brilliance. It’s a self-cannibalizing flying dinosaur, and that is fantastic. This is exactly the sort of bizarre foolishness that makes Pokémon worth bothering with in the first place.

Anyway, Tropius goes to the breeding farm so I can create a level one baby Tropius to import into my copy of Pokémon White, whenever that arrives here. The thing that really bugs me about these games — well, one of the things that bugs me — is that the really fun and interesting creatures don’t show up until pretty late in the adventure, at which point it’s far too much trouble to make them viable party members. So I’m rounding up a team of creatures more interesting than the ones the games want me to use in proper sequence — such as Tropius, Spoink, and other assorted oddballs that apparently no one every actually uses — so I can import them as early as possible and play the next chapter of the series my own dang way.

From everything I’ve read, Tropius is kind of worthless in the games, yeah. But by crackie, it’s a flying palm tree dinosaur that eats its own banana beard, and I will find a way to make it a viable team member. The heck with you min-maxers and you balance-obsessed trainers alike; this is how these games are meant to be played.

37 thoughts on “Everyone walk the dinosaur

  1. Actually, now that I think about it, how does it eat its banana beard!? It appendages are too stubby. Maybe it scrapes them off against tree branches and eats them from the ground? Or maybe that’s a Tropius’ idea of necking? I’m thinking way too hard about this, but my brain feel compelled to make some sort of sense of this whole thing.

    Also, please note that “banana beard” and “banana bread” are two very different things and should not be confused.

  2. If you just import them, they’ll be next to useless because they won’t obey. However, if you send Tropius and Spoink *eggs* over to Black/White, they’ll hatch and properly belong to that game’s trainer. Then they’ll obey you and you’ll be fine. I do that all the time with Cyndaquil when I’m starting a new game.

  3. You may want to keep an eye on when in the game they’ll let you import Pokemon from previous versions. In Gold/Silver, you could import them pretty early, but Gen 4 doesn’t let you do this until you beat the E4 once.

  4. Indeed. I suspect that they’ll go with something like the original Gold/Silver time machine, which is irritating (just let me import my damn Pokemon already). It would be better than the Fire Red/Leaf Green method though, where transporting Pokemon to Ruby/Sapphire was a fully-fledged sidequest.

  5. “If you just import them, they’ll be next to useless because they won’t obey.” Uh, yeah, that’s why I said I’m sending Tropius to the breeding farm.

    Gen IV suffered from a hardware limitation because the extant Pokémon games were on GBA, but you can bring over creatures from other DS versions right away if you do the standard trade. Cat tried her hand at Platinum recently and I sent her some various worthwhile creatures from HeartGold with no trouble. I’m not sure how Gen V will work, but I bet there’ll be some decent transparency. Or, maybe I should just wait until Pokémon Grey, which will be more refined and less likely to inflict stupid arbitrary BS on players.

  6. Tropius not only looks cool, he’s the best HM slave Pokèmon this side of Bibarel.

  7. Oh man, oh man…that’s a pretty awesome pocket monster! What path can it be found on? I just unlocked the volcano one. Need to walk more.

  8. Isn’t that for the PokePark? Where you import monsters from the GBA games? He seems to be talking about transfering them from HeartGold/SoulSilver to White/Black, which you could do by regular trading.

  9. This is indeed how Pokemon should be played.

    You should pick up a Dunsparce. I’m still not entirely sure what he’s supposed to be. His Serene Grace passive ability is awesome, too.

  10. Paul, Tropius is on the Big Forest route unlocked at 40,000 watts. If you’re just at the Volcano, you gots a ways to go. Walk more! It’s good for you.

    I’ve had a Dunsparse for a while but it really grosses me out. I think it’s supposed to be a tsuchinoko, but it just looks disgusting. By crackie.

  11. I’ve always loved Tropius. When I first saw it (when we were just getting info on Ruby/Sapphire, aaaall those years ago), I instantly loved it and wanted to make it one of my party members… but it lost out to Roselia, the tiny-yet-sassy rose pixie. Which is similarly considered useless by the “serious” players, but screw that.

    Children sometimes eat Tropius’ banana beard, too. Everyone wants a taste of its chinfruit!

  12. Worst comes to it, Tropius is actually one of the best HM slaves available right now; the little guy can learn cut, fly, defog, rock smash, and strength, so even if he doesn’t pan out, he can free up four slots from other guys.

  13. Oh man get a Nosepass next. And a Ludicolo!

    Also, you should write about Dragon Quest IV.

  14. I meant to say “Dragon Quest IX”. I ruined the joke. Oh well, it wasn’t very good anyway.

  15. This is by far the thing about pokemon which is causing me to pull my hair out. They spend all this time designing interesting creatures, with fun abilities and in fact command you to find them all, yet give you no viable way of making use of more than about ten per play through. I have so many pokemon I love, which I’ll never be able to go back to because they can’t keep up, and grinding is impossible in this game.

  16. @parish: Well, it appears all of the stress from your work and life lately has finally broken your brain. Ride the crazy man, ride the crazy. :)

    @kat and @parish and @other pokeplayers: Just out of curiousity, how many DS’s do you folks have anyway? I’ve been thinking of getting a second one, probably a Lite since they are cheaper, just for pokemon and walker. Or disgaeaDS, I’m getting unfortunately addicted to that game at the moment.

    And finally @parish again: Yes. Self-cannibalizing, banana-beard eating, flying palm-tree brontusauri are ta awesome. No doubt.

  17. They probably just eat each others’ banana beards..
    .though technically that’s peripheral to the mating process and is strictly done recreationally as a good source of potassium.

  18. Does that mean you finally let the level one Piplup off the breeding (rape) farm?

  19. I’ve yet to send my Piplup to the farm. I’ve been too busy trading version exclusive creatures to trade on the GTS.

    Also, I have a DS Lite that I keep around for Cat to play Picross or whatever on, and I borrow it to do trading when needed.

  20. Tropius is one of my favourite pocket monsters, precisely for the reasons mentioned: it is a flying apatosaurus, and it’s a great HM ‘mon. Let’s face it: if you had a pokemon, would you want it to shoot little shadow balls or fall asleep or squirt water, which are all well and good… OR would you want one that would not only have a lot of generally good adventurin’ abilities but ALSO be able to fly you there?! I submit: the latter.

  21. You should get a Flygon! Those guys are totally aces.

    re Trading: I’ve got my broken hinge DS Lite just for that very purpose – just pop Platinum in one and HeartGold into the other and I’ve got myself a self-sustaining Pokémon breeding maching.

    As for HM slaves, Tropius+Bibarel is pretty good but you simply can’t beat Poliwrath+Skarmory when it comes to sheer utility – every single HM from both this and last gen can be split between them, and they even have a bunch of utility moves like Flash and Dig to go along with it to boot. Plus they’re damn cool and that is the best reason to use them methinks.

  22. Addendum @Freezair: Roselia’s evolution, Roserade, is actually considered pretty useful by the min-maxers out there. You can’t really mess with something that can put something to sleep, line the battlefield with spikes and blow stuff away with superpowered grass attacks all from the start.

  23. I think you’ve mentioned you give names to all your Pokemon. What’d you name this guy?

  24. He was a Pokéwalker catch, so I haven’t named him yet. I’m still contemplating a good choice. Is Nanasaur too obscure a reference?

  25. I totally agree with you that the cool pokemon should be there from the start. I hate the idea of useless pokemon, too.

    Is Quagmire useless? Because I had him on my team for awhile and I didn’t care!

  26. Two tips to make raising pokemon easier (maybe so easy that you dont hate grinding more than 10 of them)

    1)Go to the wifi trade place, and trade the pokemon you have for another one of the same species from a different country. That way it earns XP 1.7 times faster, and you still have the pokemon you want! The reason I reccomend doing this instead of just trading copies with a friend is that pokemon received in trades from the same country that you are in get a 1.5 XP boost, while trading with someone from another country (i.e. online) you get a 1.7 XP boost.

    2)Get a Lucky Egg. its a hold item that lets nets the pokemon holding it 1.5 times XP in battle, and it DOES stack with step 1.

    …So if you do both those things, your pokemon will level up more than twice as quickly. I would say grinding half as much is a reasonable amount, for me anyway.

    Also jeremy you kick ass. I like your writing and even though you complain a lot about not being appreciated, you honestly just need to suck it up and keep doing thought provoking, well-considered posts even if they dont pay your rent. You will get noticed if you keep doing this.

  27. Tropius is one of my favorites. I also highly recommend a Mantine to accompany it.

  28. the reason you get tropius so late in game is because they mainly live in the Hoen region, (hoen is mostly a tropical region )

  29. Tropius is one of my personal favorite Pokémon. As a Pokémon from gen III, and not one of the competitive stars like Salamence, Jirachi, or Metagross, it is often overlooked. Tropius has one of the more unique designs, and can actually be used competitively with a little creativity. Major props for shining a light on one of the more under-appreciated Pokémon.

  30. Tropius is a Pokémon I’ve come to love as the airborne half of my Platinum HM Whore duo, and I’m greatly considering using one for double battles as well because I also love the “brontosaur fruit tree” angle of its design. Might even team it up with Meganium for the hell of it, even though the duo’d get wrecked by any blizzards or avalanches that came their way.

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