[[header:'''Machop Line''']]

!! Morphs [Oak Catalog #]

* Machop [066]
* Machoke [067]
* Machamp [068]

!! Physical Description

The Pokémon of the Machop line are reptilian humanoids that are characterized by immense strength, bodies with a markedly higher concentration of muscle by body mass, and a bodyplan that undergoes progressive alterations with each successive evolution. In all stages, females have been noted to trend physically larger than their male counterparts.

The initial morph of this line, Machop, is a tailed humanoid that typically stands around 80 centimeters tall and weighs just under 20 kilograms. Machop are characterized by a light blue hide with a set of 3 rigid brown crests running along the top of their heads, arms with hands with 5 digits and opposable thumbs, and legs with feet containing a set of fused digits. Other notable features of Machop's body include a short, broad snout, two ridged regions along its abdomen (with an appearance akin to that of exposed ribs).

The second stage of this line, Machoke, is a tailless humanoid with a violet hide and a bodyplan closely mirroring those of human beings that stands an average of 150 centimeters tall and weighs just over 70 kilograms. Beyond the loss of its tail, Machoke also exhibits a number of other changes to its physical form, including the emergence of feet with 5 defined digits, red ridges along its upper and lower arms with an appearance akin to bulging veins, a patch of black scales covering its loins, and more prominent pectoral, leg, and arm muscles. Machoke's head also changes dramatically with evolution, with the emergence of a prominent elongated snout and jaw, not wholly unlike the cranial changes exhibited in the final evolution of Pokémon in the Squirtle line, and a set of three head crests that extends from the base of its snout to the back of its head. Machoke are noted for being one of a small number of Pokémon to wear personal effects, which consist of a belt fashioned with carefully distributed weights. Although the composition and appearance of this belt varies widely upon the setting an individual lives in, with Machoke in captivity often donning a metal wrestling-style belt that has become virtually eponymous with this Pokemon, it should be noted that these belts appear to invariably cover all regions of a Machoke's torso below its pectoral muscles.

The third, and presumed final form of the Machop line, Machamp, is a six-limbed humanoid creature with a gray hide that averages 160 centimeters in height and 130 kilograms in weight. The most obvious change in Machamp's bodyplan upon its evolution from Machoke is the presence of two sets of arms similar in form to those of its prior forms, the upper pair further back from a lower pair. Other changes to Machamp's appearance include the loss of its elongated snout as a Machoke in favor of a short snout like that possessed by its initial form, with yellow-hided "lips," as well as the loss of three digits each from its feet. Machamp's head crests also change in appearance, with its set of crests beginning shortly above its eyes and terminating at the back of its head, with its leftmost and rightmost ridges set at angles, giving its eyes "brows." Like its prior form, Machoke, Machamp are almost always seen with all regions on their torso just below their notably larger and bulkier pectoral muscles covered by a belt.

In rare circumstances, individuals exhibiting mutant phenotypes have been recorded. As Machop, these individuals possess tan hides, with head crests that are virtually identical in appearance to those of their more normal counterparts. As Machoke, such individuals exhibit green hides, and blue ridges along their arms, with head crests identical in coloration to those of their non-mutant counterparts. As Machamp, these individuals obtain green hides, with "lips" and head crests identical in appearance to those of their non-mutant counterparts.

!! Notable Biology

One of the defining characteristics of Machop and its brethren is their immense relative strength. Although subject to much hyperbole, which has been exacerbated by data recording errors for older entries for creatures from this line, all stages of this line are capable of formidable feats, which includes a capability of lifting objects that several times heavier than their body weight. Contrary to popular belief, the muscles of Machop and its evolutions are not immune to fatigue, but appear to have an extremely high tolerance for prolonged or otherwise repeated use.

One of the defining biological features of Pokémon from this line is their bodily composition, a large majority of which consists muscle mass. Contrary to urban legend, Machop and its evolutions possess a skeletal system, which is consists almost entirely of cartilaginous bones, with the exception of the jaws and teeth of these creatures, which are composed of a more conventional calcium carbonate structure. Early studies of deceased specimens of these creatures had provided inconclusive data regarding their skeletal structures, which manifested itself in entries in some older Pokédexes, which maintain that these creatures' bodies are composed entirely of muscle.

Machoke and Machamp are also noted to possess an instinctive psychological mechanism that helps to regulate and control how they apply their immense strength. This mechanism appears to be triggered by specific pressure patterns along the lower torso of these creatures, which appear to be reliably generated by the belts that creatures from this line don. In the absence of such pressure patterns, Machoke and Machamp appear to have a lack of control over a number of muscle groups in their bodies, most notably the muscles that control Machoke's and Machamp's limbs. There does not appear to be any specific tie between materials or otherwise appearance for the belts beyond the general positioning of the belt around the torso between the pectoral muscles and dark scales of the lower body to create an appearance akin to donning a pair of "spandex". In the wild, these belts are typically fashioned from hide and incorporate weighty objects such as stones. In captivity, this effect is most commonly accomplished via purpose-made belts incorporating metal plates and bits for weight.

Pokémon in this line possess an unconventional second evolution, which appears to be triggered in response to a combination of hormonal and electromagnetic triggers. Individuals vary in responsiveness to these triggers, with only a small minority of Machoke possessing genes conducive to evolution in a natural setting. It appears that the mechanisms associated with formally trading Pokémon parallel these triggers, appear to be sufficiently potent to induce evolution among all known individuals. Machoke living in areas with higher than normal background electromagnetic radiation, such as urban areas, are also known to more readily evolve into Machamp than their wild counterparts.

Creatures from this line have what appear to be three known submorphs, which appear to be differentiated primarily by different emphases on facets of these creatures' innate psyche. One of the most common of these submorphs consists of individuals that appear to exhibit more aggressive behavior as part of a "fight-or-flight" response when forced to endure a small number of physical afflictions, a behavior that is dramatically less pronounced among counterparts from outside this submorph. Curiously, these individuals also appear to have a natural stamina that trends above that of individuals from outside their submorph. Another submorph appears to more naturally gravitate towards close combat, these individuals also appear to trend below par with individuals outside their submorph in terms of response promptness to stimuli. The third, and rarest submorph consists of individuals that appear to have a greater emphasis on the "flight" component of these Pokemon's natural "fight or flight" response, and appear to be capable of moving quicker when recoiling from a sudden shock. The individuals of this third submorph also appear to trend above norm in terms of the development of their leg muscles.

!! Habitat

Machop and its evolutions appear to almost instinctively gravitate towards rugged environments presenting ample opportunities for physical training for shelter, with almost all currently known stable populations of Pokémon from this line having been located in either mountainous regions or in cave systems. Exceptions to this pattern occasionally manifest themselves in folklore, with some tales speaking of populations of Machop and its evolutions living in non-mountainous environments near their more typical habitats. It is presently unknown to what extent these narratives are based in truth, though the existence of a stable population of Machop in the regions to the immediate east of Unova's Route 15 appears to lend credence to the at least partial validity of these myths. Stable populations of Pokémon from this line can be found along mountainous passes and cave systems in portions of western and eastern Kanto, in the vicinity of Mount Mortar and in the southwestern regions of Johto, in the vicinity of Mt. Ember on Knot Island, in the surroundings of Mt. Chimney in Hoenn, throughout central and eastern Sinnoh, and the Glittering Cave of southern Kalos.

!! Diet

Pokémon from the Machop line are noted for their relatively fast metabolic rate, which is just slightly slower than that observed among most comparably-sized mammalian Pokémon. Although creatures from this line appear to be capable of surviving on an omnivorous diet as with most other Pokémon, wild individuals appear to have diets that trend heavily carnivorous. Creatures from this line do not appear to have a specific preference for quarry, which generally appears to be only limited by the thickness of a potential prey organism's hide or the presence of toxins. Organisms with physical forms similar to those that Machop and its brethren possess, such as human beings or Pokémon in the "Human-Like" egg group appear to typically be passed over as potential prey, with almost all recorded incidences of such behaviors from Pokémon in this line coinciding with periods of extreme scarcity of normal quarry.

!! Hazards

As their immense physical strength would suggest, unduly antagonizing a creature from the Machop line is an exercise for the extremely foolhardy. All stages of this line use a range of melee techniques, including techniques incorporating powerful punches and kicks, which are capable of breaking bones and causing deep bruises when attacked by individuals from the initial stage of this line. Attacks from the latter two stages of this line are vastly more powerful, and are capable of easily resulting in serious or otherwise life-threatening injuries. All stages of this line also utilize attacks that incorporate the throwing of opponents or foreign objects, which become increasingly forceful and potent with evolution. Travelers attempting to exploit the typical difficulties that Fighting-types have in effectively targeting Ghost-type Pokémon should keep in mind that creatures from this line are known to employ a technique which enables to focus their blows to such a point where Ghost-types cannot effectively phase through their onslaughts.

A small number of other mundane hazards exist for persons in ready contact with these creatures. One of the most notable of which is the significant lack of control that Machoke and Machamp appear to have when their belts are either removed or impaired in some manner. Trainers that encounter such Pokémon are strongly advised to give a wide berth if at all possible. Another hazard of note is the progressively decaying dexterity that Pokémon from this line possess with their digits with each evolution. This phenomena is most pronounced among individuals that have attained the Machamp stage, which should not be allowed to extensively handle any important belongings that are particularly delicate. As with other Pokemon, individuals from the Machop line that have not been properly socialized present a significant hazard to the well-being of others, and are known to be the cause of a number of incidents each year.

!! Courting

All stages of the Machop line are capable of reproducing, though reproduction among Machop is effectively unheard of in a wild context. Courtship is typically initiated by a male Machamp, who will attempt to impress a potential mate through a combination of displays of physical prowess and sparring with rival suitors. If they are challenged by another for their courtship, they shall engage in a wrestling match until one Machamp has been pinned by the other. Divergent courtship behaviors are occasionally recorded, with some populations of these creatures in Sinnoh incorporating gift-giving as a component of courtship rituals, most notably among the population in the cave systems intersecting Sinnoh's Victory Road. After selecting a suitor, the female and her chosen male will mate in a secluded area before separating. Pokémon from this line generally do not appear to retain mates for prolonged periods of time, with most individuals seeking new mates every mating cycle. Despite this, it appears that creatures from this line maintain ties to particularly strong or accomplished mates, a phenomena that some human researchers have likened to the human practice of "trophy spouses." Aberrations to conventional mating behavior, including the retention of mates for prolonged periods or life and courting and accepting offers of courtship from Pokémon from other lines are occasionally recorded, though appear to be markedly more common among captive creatures from this line than their wild counterparts.

!! Social Structure

Machop eggs appear to have a quality that enables them to survive both ovoviviparous and oviparous reproduction, not wholly unlike many mammalian Pokémon. The former method is most commonly exhibited amongst wild Machoke and Machamp. The latter most commonly documented among Machop, captive individuals, and incidences of multiple offspring. Gender ratios of Machop and its brethren appear to skew male-oriented in both the wild and in captivity, with observed gender ratios among captive creatures from this line averaging 3 males for every female.

Machop are cared for by their mothers for the first 6-10 months of their lives, and are left to fend for themselves after their muscles develop sufficiently. During these months, a mother individual from this line will teach her offspring how to hunt, spar, and physically train. Unlike some Pokémon in their egg group, Machop and its evolutions appear to be primarily solitary creatures in their native environments. Individuals do not appear to have intimate social structures, and beyond mating and childcare behaviors, only appear to readily interact in groups for purposes of sparring, training, or occasionally engaging in group hunts for prey.

Creatures from this line appear to also interact with Pokémon outside of their immediate line in some contexts. The most common of these interactions appears to be what appears to be a begrudging respect for Rock-type Pokémon in their native environs, which are readily incorporated into these creatures' training regimens both as sparring partners and other forms of training aids such as weights. Creatures from this line also appear to more readily interact with Pokémon exhibiting high degrees of social organization or otherwise potential utility, one of the most prominent examples being a symbiotic sparring arrangement between young Machop and Cubone in Kanto's Rock Tunnel, another notable example being the interactions between Machop and Machamp in Unova and local Leavanny.

!! In Human Society

Creatures in the Machop line have long seen employment within human circles, commonly as bodyguards or as heavy laborers, roles that they continue to serve regularly in some fields such as mining, construction, and private security to this day. Pokémon from this line have long possessed a mixed reputation in human folklore, with Machop and its brethren often being portrayed as loyal and well-meaning creatures, but at the same time as being extraordinarily dim-witted and naive. Creatures from this line appear to have left a significant mark on human culture, including the adoption of martial arts techniques modeled after those utilized by these creatures, and are a recurring motif in some martial-arts themed media, including a number of professional sporting leagues and in a [[MortalKombat long-running series of fighting games emphasizing gruesome finishing moves.]]

[-Written by @/TracerBullet.-]