While writing up the Ghost Pokemon article, I realise I took too many liberties when I read the Giratina article. I need input from the people who have res'ed/already written/are planning to write articles for Ghost Pokemon. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Here's what I have so far. Please note that some sections are still incomplete. If it's too short, it probably is.
: I'm done. More or less.
I've deleted the Origins and Life Cycles section, or what I have drafted anyway, as they are rather superfluous and would most likely end up being exclusive to Ghost Pokemon, since most of the other types display a lot more variety in terms of species.
Ghost Pokemon are one of the most poorly understood type classification in the Pokemon kingdom. In ancient times, Ghost Pokemon were believed to be actual ghosts and were both revered and hated, with many a legend warning of their malice. This was in part, due to their tendecy to play sometimes extreme pranks on humans and other Pokemon and their behaviour was often, and sometimes still is mistakenly attributed to evil intent. Their predisposition to inhabit areas associated with death and their ethereal characteristics also helped to fuel the misunderstanding.
It is rarely the case, however, that pure malevolence is the motivation behind such actions. Many Ghost Pokemon depend on strong negative emotions for subsistence and Spiritomb in particular have been known to orchestrate elaborate feuds when strife was scarce in order to feed on the emotions of furious parties.
In fact, while their mischief-making can sometimes be very destructive, Ghost Pokemon play a critical role in controlling outbreaks of negative emotions in their environment, especially human establishments. In times of war and conflict, Ghost Pokemon have been known to scour the land for grieving, despairing people and Pokemon, absorbing their negative emotions and relieving them of their anguish, although they were often misconstrued as harbingers of death as a consequence. For this reason, Ghost Pokemon are tolerated, if not welcome today in most modern human societies.
Ghost Pokemon have no specific behavioural adaptations to avoid predation as their ability to phase, sensitivity to their surroundings and illusory abilities are sufficient to evade most predators. Ghost Pokemon are largely ignored by most other Pokemon as a food source as their bodies consist of bad-tasting umbrate and inorganic substances. In the wild, their only natural predators are Dark Pokemon, which have the advantage in terms of typing and are also well adapted to strike before Ghost Pokemon can notice them. Dark Pokemon are also the only Pokemon to have a distinct partiality for umbrate.
Even today, while great advancements have been made in understanding and explaining the biology of other type classifications, human knowledge of Ghost Pokemon is comparatively sketchy, with enduring debates among scientists on everything from their neurology to their origins.
Ghost Pokemon possess the ability to modify substances within their body on a molecular scale and studies have shown that they may have even more control of their body matter than previously thought. While many other Pokemon have some control over the molecular structure of their bodily substances, there are few Pokemon that can match the flexibility of the molecular manipulation that Ghost Pokemon possess.
Ghost Pokemon rely heavily on molecular modification for locomotion, growth, fighting, assimilation of foreign matter and many other critical bodily functions. Most of their young are born with very little finesse in the technique and master it only after years of use. However, under the guide of skilled Trainers, young Ghost Pokemon may acquire a level of skill in molecular manipulation on par with a typical mature wild individual within weeks.
While Ghost Pokemon do create certain sensory organs for themselves such as eyes, they also possess the ability to create psychic sensory fields in the same manner Psychic Pokemon do. Psychic sensing is important for the location of food sources (especially intangible ones), finding mates and evasion of most enemies.
Ghost Pokemon are one of the few organisms that have the ability to phase. The only other Pokemon known to possess innate phasing abilities are Darkrai and Palkia. Although the vast majority of research on Ghost Pokemon specifically concentrates on their phasing power, little progress has been made in understanding the mechanism behind it. Modification of their bodily substances appears to be important to successful phasing and it is not unusual for juveniles inexperienced in such techniques to be unable to phase.
Recently, research by the space energy company Team Galactic has found very brief and minute disturbances in the local space when Ghost Pokemon phase. This new discovery was made possible due to new, very sensitive instruments that specialise in detecting anomalies in space-time. It has been speculated that a space-manipulation technique, similar to how Pokeballs store Pokemon, may be involved in phasing.
Ghost Pokemon are distinguished by the presence of a material called umbrate
on their bodies. Freshly produced umbrate is a soft, dull purple powder-like substance which is usually arranged in a cutaneous, organ-like as well as a vein-like fashion held in place by electromagnetic forces, although it is trivially easy for Ghost Pokemon to manipulate their umbrate into any formation they like. Umbrate is an all-purpose building block used to create everything from limbs to ocular organs. The collective formations of umbrate is therefore considered the Ghost Pokemon's body. While umbrate normally appears purple, Ghost Pokemon can change its molecular structure to absorb different wavelengths of light, giving rise to colours from the yellow bands of a Dusknoir's belly to the sky blue head of a male Jellicent.
While a Ghost Pokemon's body may be said to be its umbrate formations, Ghost Pokemon can exist purely as a mass of electromagnetic fields. In this state, Ghost Pokemon are still able to move, think and execute rudimentary attacks. It has been theorised that collectively, these fields make up the brain as Ghost Pokemon do not appear to have a discrete nervous system.
Such a form is usually taken when the Ghost Pokemon is too weak to maintain its structure and permanent dissapation of the individual's electromagnetic fields (or 'death') may follow. Fainted Ghost Pokemon do not take on this form, but it can occur if a Ghost Pokemon has been starved of its normal diet for too long. It is unusual for a Ghost Pokemon to take this form if the individual is otherwise healthy, however, the more ethereal species, such as Gastly, have been occasionally observed in the wild to adopt a slightly more corporeal version of such a form for extended periods of time, by spreading their umbrate across the sky. It is likely that this behaviour may be a regulating mechanism to purge their umbrate formations of unwanted debris as Ghost Pokemon do not have a self-regulating excretory system, indeed, they must consciously push undesirable substances out of their bodies. There are also speculations that it is used as kind of pleasure-seeking tool as the pyschological after-effects bears a resemblance to that of artificially-induced euphoria in humans.
Umbrate is highly conductive of Ghost-specific energy and less so for other type-specific energies. As such, it plays an important role in Ghost Pokemon for the channeling and concentrating of their powers, in addition to its role as material for the body. Cutaceous umbrate is usually saturated with Ghost-specific energy and acts as a protective outer layer.
In most species, umbrate is created very slowly inside the main body and a certain critical mass of umbrate is requisite for evolution in many species. Juveniles approaching maturity and individuals with damaged bodies can accelerate the production of new umbrate to the point where the growth can easily be seen in real time, however, it is very physically taxing and unaccustomed juveniles may fall into a fainted state for some time. Umbrate is not known to be found anywhere else in the wild but certain species, such as Dusknoir, regularly shed some of their umbrate.
Discarded umbrate can retain the physical characteristics it had when it was seperated from the main body for a very long time and has been exploited for centuries as a luxury textile. Umbrate dating is also an important paleontological technique in ruins, which Ghost Pokemon tend to inhabit. Even today, opportunistic Trainers sometimes hunt for these sheddings and trade them as valuable items.
While all Ghost Pokemon have umbrate on some part of their bodies, the majority integrate other materials from their environments into themselves, presumely for defense. Such materials are usually modified on a molecular scale when integrated, however, they will instantly revert to their original state should their users discard them - a classical example is Rotom. In the case of Rotom, some individuals in Unova have reportedly even been able to modify their umbrate to take on the elemental characteristics of the appliances they possess under the guidance of their Trainers.
Although the modification of extraneous substances appears to help Ghost Pokemon to phase without leaving their adopted load behind, assimilation of larger volumes foreign matter appears to hinder the ease of phasing somewhat and in a few species, such as Golurk, only vestigial phasing abilities are present.
Ghost Pokemon have some of the most unusual diets in the Pokemon kingdom. All known Ghost Pokemon are able to absorb negative emotions as sustenace although their dependency on it varies among species. The more mature morphs of the Litwick life cycle have evolved to become almost entirely dependent on the emotions expressed during death, such as grief and regret, while the juveline morph specialises in encouraging and then absorbing feelings of fatigue. In contrast, Cofagrigus live largely on a diet of gold and other precious substances, although they will also take in feelings of greed and envy when the opportunity presents itself. Jellicents are on the extreme end of a diet lacking in anima - they are almost exclusively carnivores. However, even Jellicents will occasionally hitch a risky ride on a raging Gyarados and feed on its often inexplicable fury.
It is unknown exactly how Ghost Pokemon are able to discriminate among and absorb emotions or why they are only capable of feeding on negative emotions. It has been theorised that they are able to convert strong feelings into usable energy in a way similar to how Aura outwardly manifests itself.
All Ghost Pokemon can assimilate organic food into their body and as with all Pokemon, enjoy Berries and treats made from Berries. They do not directly digest their food, unlike most other organisms. Instead, useful substances in the food are simply extracted, subjected to molecular modification and integrated into the body, while the rest is duly discarded.
Despite their classification nomenclature, most Ghost Pokemon do breed and engage in courtship rituals. Species are usually either monogamic or gather in swarms to breed. In some swarming species, breeding cycles are tied to the phases of the moon. However, their breeding behaviour is poorly understood as parts of it are largely unobservable, even through very sensitive instruments such as the Silph Scope.
All mating Ghost Pokemon undergo a special period towards the end of the courtship process called obscura
, where the mating pair seemingly disappears completely from all sensual and instrumental observation, then reappear some time later in the same locale with the female carrying an egg. During this period, strong electromagnetic radiation emitting from their original location surround the immediate area. Swarming species are often considered pests for this reason as the radiation from their combined obscurae can easily damage unshielded electronics within a large radius of the swarm. With the exception of Giratina, Ghost Pokemon appear to be unable to reproduce the effects of obscura when not mating, even when coerced or ordered to.
The legendary Pokemon Giratina appears to have spliced some kind of otherworldly material into its umbrate and preliminary findings suggests that it employs a highly precise and instantaneous technique, similar to the effects of the obscura mating process, to pass through matter rather than phase directly. Giratina is also capable of exploiting the vanishing effect for short periods of time to gather energy for an attack. As Giratina's control of dimensions is well documented, it is likely that obscura involves the manipulation of dimensions.
What can be directly observed of their breeding behaviour is mostly limited to their courtship rituals and as such, they are the most well documented aspect of Ghost Pokemon breeding. Monogamic species often have extremely convoluted rituals while swarming species have more simplistic mating processes. The courtship ritual for Gengars has been observed to last for exactly seven days, with the male carefully shadowing the female while she attempts to shake off his tail with illusions and trickery. In comparison, swarming Jellicents release pheromones unique to each individual into the water and the individuals then move to the source of the pheromones that they are attracted to the most, with males fighting off other potential mates with all manner of actions such as battle moves, dancing and even singing. Interspecies courting often display elements from the rituals of both species and can vary wildly among different pairs and even the same pair may not exhibit consistent behaviour.
edited 31st Mar '11 6:27:20 PM by Thrombin