i still don’t understand the dratini evolution
you have these two ethereal blue snake-like dragons
and then some chunky stuffed-animal looking puff the magic dragon
i dont understand. what happened nintendo.
this has been around for years now but there’s so many people that haven’t seen it but the common theory is that there was a last minute decision to change around evolutionary lines without changing actual pokemon designs that much to match it better
colors and body styles line up much better here, although my personal belief is that dragonite was supposed to be a standalone legendary but he didn’t fit in with the legendary bird trio so he was cut to just be a powerful dragon type, and then the dratini/dragonaire line was handed over to him. that left gyarados without an evolutionary line though, so i think that’s when magikarp was added in to create a sort of amusing and surprising evolution for players that didn’t expect a powerful pokemon to come out of a useless one
I mean, gyarados is pretty clearly based on the koi dragon story about the koi fish that spent a hundred years trying to climb a waterfall while demons mocked it and raised the height of the falls until it finally reached the top and the gods rewarded it by transforming it into a dragon, so I doubt Magikarp -> Gyarados family is a mistake.
Dragonite’s line is based on Korean Dragons and Imugi! Imugi are lesser dragons that look like giant serpents and live in the ocean. If an Imugi can catch a Yeouiju (like a big bead, the kind that Dragonair has!) that falls from heaven, they can become a TRUE dragon like Dragonite.
I pulled this image from wikipedia’s article on Korean Dragons, note that the dragon is holding the big yeouiju.