|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by (English)||Michael Haigney (4Kids)|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Rikako Aikawa|
Psyduck, known as Koduck (コダック Kodakku?) in Japan, is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Psyduck first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and later in subsequent sequels. They have later appeared in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. Psyduck is voiced by Rikako Aikawa in Japan and Michael Haigney in English.
Known as the duck Pokémon, Psyduck is constantly stunned by its headache, and usually just stands there vacantly, trying to calm it. In the anime series, Psyduck's appearances became a running gag; Misty would often release Psyduck by accident instead of the Pokémon she wanted to use.
Design and characteristics
Psyduck was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Koduck" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. As a result they were renamed "Psyduck", a combination of the words "psychic" and "duck".
Known as the Duck Pokémon, Psyduck resembles a yellow platypus with a vacant stare. It has a small tuft of black hair at the top of its head. It walks on its hind legs, and has arms rather than wings. Its arms are useful in using its powerful psychic abilities. Its appearance is meant to trick enemies into thinking it is weak. It has arms with three claws on each to deliver scratches if threatened. Psyduck live in freshwater lakes, small ponds, or rivers in tropical areas. When a Psyduck receives enough experience from battles, it evolves into Golduck.
Psyduck is constantly stunned by its headache, and usually just stands there vacantly, trying to calm its headache. When the headache gets too bad, its brain cells awaken, allowing it to use strong psychic powers. Some use their vacant look to their advantage, lulling the enemy and then using its psychokinetic powers. Psyduck don't remember using their powers, so they tilt their head in confusion. It is said to not remember using its powers because it uses them while in a deep sleep state.
In video games
Psyduck can be found in areas in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Central Kalos. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl a group of Psyduck can be found blocking the northern fork of Route 210. After the player obtains the badges in Veilstone City and Pastoria City, Cynthia will hand over a SecretPotion to cure their headaches. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, Psyduck is available Pokémon to be the main character. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Psyduck appears in the Poké Floats stage as the third Pokéfloat to appear. Fighting occurs on its head and beak, and it then floats up and off the top of the screen. Psyduck is a photographable Pokémon in Pokémon Snap, and it also appears as one of Misty's Pokémon in Pokémon Puzzle League. It is also an NPC in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and its sequel, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond.
In other media
In the anime, Misty has a Psyduck that she accidentally caught in Hypno's Naptime. It is a constant source of frustration for her, as it frequently emerges to attempt to battle the opponent in substitution of the Pokémon she intends to use, and in instances where she does intend to use it, it will more often than not goof up (most notably in the episode Snack Attack!). Despite this, she has been shown to deeply care for it. Despite being generally shown as dimwitted and oblivious, when its headache gets bad enough, it has been shown to use phenomenally powerful Psychic-type moves which far exceed its perceived potential. It is also shown to be unable to swim, despite being a Water-type Pokémon. Nine Psyduck appeared in The Psyduck Stops Here!; six parents and three babies. Three of the parents were blocking the path that Ash and his friends tried to pass on their way to Celestic Town. The Psyduck weren't able to return to their real home, Lake Psyduck, because of three Muk.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, many Psyduck have appeared in the manga owned by other trainers. In the Red, Green & Blue chapter, an undead Psyduck, that had been brought back to life by a Koga's Gastly, appeared in the Pokémon Tower. It first appeared to Red like a normal Psyduck, until it attempted an assault on him: its eyeballs suddenly sunk into its eye sockets and some skin fell off, revealing its bones. Since it was just a mindless undead, it was easily destroyed by Red's Bulbasaur.
Described as "downright silly" by GameSpy, Psyduck has been well received by the media. The New York Times compared it to a duck-billed platypus, adding that it "looks entertainingly silly". GameDaily described it as "one of the more unique Pokémon characters", as well as weird, noting it has changed little in either aspect throughout the history of the franchise. IGN described the character as a "cult favorite" amongst fans, attributing the reaction to its "bizarre, bewildered appearance", as well as citing it as a favorite character around their offices. GamesRadar also called it one of the more popular from the original games, describing it as fun to use "if only to see the reaction of other players". The Coventry Evening Telegraph also praised its design, stating the character was "more interesting" in comparison to more commonly seen Pokémon such as Squirtle. Author Loredana Lipperini described Psyduck as the "comic talents" of Nintendo. Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez cited Psyduck as an example of the better-quality Pokémon from the first generation due to its "endearing dopeyness." Author Cindy Jacobs suggested that Psyduck's powers were associated with the occult. She claimed that these telepathic powers were "actually demons that empower him." Pastor Phil Arms states, "Psyduck defeats his opponents by mesmerizing them with a piercing stare and releasing a barrage of pent-up mental energy. The New Age concept that parallels this ability falls under the heading of an altered state of consciousness."
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- Game Freak (1999-10-19). "Pokémon Yellow". Game Boy. Nintendo. "Always tormented by headaches. It uses psychic powers, but it is not known if it intends to do so."
- Game Freak (1998-09-30). "Pokémon Red and Blue". Game Boy. Nintendo. "While lulling its enemies with its vacant look, this wily Pokémon will use psychokinetic powers."
- Game Freak (2000-10-15). "Pokémon Silver". Game Boy Color. Nintendo. "If its chronic headache peaks, it may exhibit odd powers. It seems unable to recall such an episode."
- Game Freak (2001-07-29). "Pokémon Crystal". Game Boy Color. Nintendo. "The only time it can use its psychic power is when its sleeping brain cells happen to wake."
- Game Freak (2007-04-22). "Pokémon Pearl". Nintendo DS. Nintendo. "It never remembers using its odd powers, so it always tilts its head in puzzlement."
- Game Freak (2003-03-17). "Pokémon Ruby". Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. "Psyduck uses a mysterious power. When it does so, this Pokémon generates brain waves that are supposedly only seen in sleepers. This discovery spurred controversy among scholars."
- Game Freak (2003-03-17). "Pokémon Sapphire". Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. "If it uses its mysterious power, Psyduck can't remember having done so. It apparently can't form a memory of such an event because it goes into an altered state that is much like deep sleep."
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