askdusknoirthereaper  asked:

Can you do an analysis of Surskit's theory of pokemon being bullet proof and maybe explain that the majority of his theories only apply if the pokemon in question isn't aiming the gun at itself?

Er…yeah, I think this is a good idea.  Look, I like the little guy, but, well, I don’t think he’s the guy you want to go to for science!  I guess I’m a little late on this but I’ve been a bit busy lately, hopefully you’ll forgive the delay!

First, the simple facts: Pokémon aren’t bulletproof.  I will concede that some would probably take a bullet with less damage than a human, but that’s not something I’d want to bet MY life on!  Pokémon attacks are one thing: as I’ve mentioned before, the effects of Pokémon moves don’t generally do any physical damage, instead invoking an energy drain that leads to exhaustion and eventually fainting.  Bullets don’t operate on the same principle - they are very physically damaging, and take enough such damage, or take it in the wrong spot, and you wake up dead.

But beyond that, Surskit posits some ideas for how Pokémon of certain types would avoid damage from bullets or survive them.  I’ll take each of these in order of presentation:

 Bugs are all about survival.Try shooting off a cockroach’s head. They could live without their head (but will die eventually since they cannot eat anything without their head).

Yeeeeeah, this isn’t true of all bugs, and technically most if not all creatures are “all about survival."  After all, self-preservation is a pretty critical instinct for us!  But do enough damage to a bug and it will be dead.  Sure, if you made a bullet proportionally-sized to a cockroach it would probably be an iffy thing, but a regular-sized bullet would turn it into a splatter pretty quickly.

 It’s hard to imagine how a bullet could destroy literal EVIL.
I have a few buddies who take offense to that characterization, but regardless, you’re attacking a creature, not a concept.  You might have trouble destroying the concept of evil with a bullet, but creatures have the disadvantage of being tangible.

 Dragon-types are often brutal and resilient, and it’s not like they could be easily taken down by a single bullet.
Put the bullet in the right place, and they could be.  Sorry, but if you sniped a Salamence between the eyes I’d put my money on worm food.  It’s true that larger creatures weather a particular projectile better than smaller creatures, simply by virtue of the damage being proportionally less.  But that doesn’t mean they’re bulletproof, it just means they’re more resistant.  Pump enough into them and they’ll fall.  And hit the right spot, and size becomes pretty immaterial.

 Use electromagnetism to stop the bullet from speeding towards ya. Theoretically possible, but only if the Pokémon knows the bullet is coming and can generate a field strong enough to slow it considerably.  That’s a tall task for any but the strongest of the type.  And if they don’t know it’s coming, well, you can guess how that turns out.


Ahaha, yeah, Hollywood magic in action there.  You’d have to be extremely quick and prepared to catch an arrow, and those move a lot slower than a bullet.  Plus, the amount of energy in them is enough that they’d probably just wreck your hand and keep going, though maybe you’d slow it enough to prevent a lethal strike.  But again, they’d have to know it was coming for even that best-case scenario.

 The bullet melts/burns due to internal body heat.
Look, if a Charizard took a bullet to the brain it would kill it before any significant melting took place.  Same for other Fire-types.  Internal body heat doesn’t affect a bullet until it reaches the inside.  Once again, theoretically a Fire-type Pokémon could apply heat to a bullet in-transit to soften it enough that the damage might be reduced, and if powerful enough maybe make it ineffective altogether.  But only if they know it’s coming and have enough time to react.

 Wind power and agility is their shield. Dodge, fly away or Blow away the bullet with a wind force faster and stronger than the bullet’s.

Once again relies on a Pokémon knowing a bullet is coming.  You do realize that many bullets exceed the speed of sound and thus you wouldn’t hear them until they had already arrived, right?  Oh, and no, very unlikely that they could generate fast and strong enough of a wind blast to divert the bullet enough, unless they were very lucky.  Also, being able to dodge bullets isn’t the same as being bulletproof.

 Bullet goes right through them and no damage is done. ‘Nuff said.
If they have a corporeal body, they can be taken down by bullets.  Ghost-types that can appear and disappear effectively may be able to escape harm if they’re lucky, but if they’re caught off-guard, well, they’re as vulnerable as anything.

 Grass-types can heal from their wounds with photosynthesis.

That…that is not the same as being bulletproof.  Also, that’s a slow process, and would only work if the damage was minor enough to be manageable.  Bullet wounds…they generally are too serious for that, even in non-vital locations.

 Their tough, earth-like skin will cause little harm to them.
While their hides may provide some additional protection (and that’s not necessarily a global trait), it’s not the same as being bulletproof.  A bit of extra resistance won’t save you if enough bullets are applied.  They’re far better off diving underground to escape the attacks, which actually would be somewhat effective, but again isn’t the same as being bulletproof.

 If they’re thick enough, their ice will shield them.

Ice on its own isn’t very bulletproof.  (Pykrete, on the other hand, is decidedly so, and I have heard of Ice-type Pokémon using this type of compound defensively before!)

 Anything goes… Hopefully…
I’m not even sure what this is supposed to indicate, but whatever it is, it’s not correct; Normal-types aren’t bulletproof, either.

 Well maybe if it were against a Muk, it’d be fine… Lethal toxins may chemically break down the bullet.

Like with the Fire-types, you’re talking about a process that would take place after the damage was already done.  And this would be even slower than melting the bullet with intense heat.  I’ll admit that a Muk would be relatively safer than other Pokémon due to its peculiar physiology, but they aren’t bulletproof so much as hardy towards physical damage (and that’s not counting the eyes, which are very vulnerable).

 Simply use psychic powers to stop the bullet in its path, perhaps even crush it…
Again, this isn’t being bulletproof so much as keeping the bullet away from you.  Although I will say that apart from that you have got a point here - Psychic-types are often capable of sensing such a threat before it comes about, and their powers are frequently enough to arrest a bullet-s momentum.  Again, not bulletproof, but they’re the ones I would bet on as the best-protected.

 Rock-hard body prevents the bullet from piercing any further.

Bullet-resistant, certainly, up to a certain level: if the bullets are big enough and powerful enough, even rock won’t stop them (and there are guns and ammo up to that task).  But even Rock-types have weak points.  A Rhydon’s hide can withstand lava, but it can be shot in the eye, and from there it’s an easy path to the brain. (Yeah, I realize this is kinda morbid, but we’re talking about guns here.)

 Automatically bulletproof. ‘Nuff said.
Not automatically bulletproof.  Like with Rock-types, they’re resistant but not fully bulletproof, especially against more powerful weaponry.  And they still have weak points that can be exploited.

 Their aquatic powers acts like shield that catches and may slow down the speed of the bullet.

If a water-type Pokémon is prepared, it can knock a bullet out of the air with water, sure.  That doesn’t make them bulletproof, it keeps the bullet away from them - if the bullet gets to them they’re not better off than others.  Again, they’re better served by taking to their element - a body of water is one of the most effective barriers against ANY type of bullet, even the big berthas.

 Magic will protect them from the bullet.
That’s highly debatable.  It makes a lot of assumptions - that the magic is always on and working no matter what the situation is, and that there is some kind of bulletproofing magic in the first place.  I haven’t done any research with Fairy-types yet but my guess would be that this is no more grounded in fact than most of the rest of this. Phew…well, there you have it, my input on the issue.  Apologies to Surskit, but the job of science is to lay the facts out there, regardless of whose beliefs they interfere with!

“((As much as I love updating my blog almost everyday, and my 1,279+ followers, I still feel as if I’m out of place socially from the Poke-ask community, even IRL. I never was well-informed of what goes around in today’s world, and I often have a misconception of nearly every subject that comes to mind.))” -ask-surskit