Ever since the release of Pokémon Yellow in the States, Mother’s Day always reminds me of the poor, unfortunate Cubone, who wears the skull of its deceased mother on its head and cries at the moon.
Depicted here beautifully by artist Ivania Arguello, Cubone’s official designation is Lonely Pokémon, which only adds to the heartbreak of this creature’s back story.
It wasn’t so bad at first. In the days of Pokémon Red and Blue, a Cubone was just a little creature wearing a bone helmet. Here’s the official description (via Bulbapedia):
Because it never removes its skull helmet, no one has ever seen this Pokémon’s real face
See? That’s not too bad. They even changed the name to Cubone from the name the creature had in the Pokémon Red and Blue beta — Orphon. Then came Pokémon Yellow.
Wears the skull of its deceased mother. Its cries echo inside the skull and come out as a sad melody.
*chokes up a little* Dammit.
In Generation II, Pokémon Crystal helpfully clarified Cubone’s history.
It lost its mother after its birth. It wears its mother’s skull, never revealing its true face.
In case kids weren’t already upset, Generation III’s Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire — scoring remakes later this year — went straight for the heartstrings.
Cubone pines for the mother it will never see again. Seeing a likeness of its mother in the full moon, it cries. The stains on the skull the Pokémon wears are made by the tears it sheds.
Go ahead, little Cubone — cry it out. Your life is pain, your very existence lingering proof of a traumatic event. One day you’ll evolve into Marowak, and then they will all pay.