Weezing (left) and Koffing (right)
Lickitung - Koffing (#109) - Weezing (#110) - Rhyhorn
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by (English)||Michael Haigney (Koffing)
Eric Stuart (Weezing)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Unshō Ishizuka|
Koffing and Weezing, known in Japan as Dogas (ドガース Dogāsu ) and Matadogas (マタドガス Matadogasu ) respectively, are Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise., the latter of which serving as an advanced form of the former. Created by Ken Sugimori, they first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. In Japanese, both characters are voiced by Unshō Ishizuka; in English Koffing is voiced by Michael Haigney, while Weezing is voiced by Eric Stuart.
Known as the Poison Gas Pokémon, Koffing and Weezing are Poison-type Pokémon, filled with toxic gasses which give them buoyancy and the ability to levitate. Appearing in the games as species for capture, train and use in battling other players, both were also utilized by the antagonists of Pokémon Red and Blue, Team Rocket, as well as the poison-themed boss, Koga. In the first few seasons of the related anime and subsequent printed adaption, Koffing and later its evolution Weezing served as the primary Pokémon utilized by James of Team Rocket.
Though regarded as the strongest of their particular type, they were received as weak due to the weakness of said type until the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Their designs have been met with mixed reception, with sources such as GamesRadar stating approval for Koffing's appearance, while GameDaily described it as a "floating fart ball". In contrast, Weezing has been praised to a lesser extent, described as both an "abomination" and "horrific" by various sources.
Koffing and Weezing were conceived and developed by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, known outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue, in which players assumes the role of a Pokémon Trainer whose goal is to capture and train creatures called Pokémon and use the creatures' special abilities to combat other Pokémon. Their names are plays on the words "coughing" and "wheezing", meant to related to symptoms caused by the noxious fumes they emit. Originally, the characters were intended to be named "NY" and "LA" respectively in English localizations, intended as homages to the heavy pollution of American cities New York City and Los Angeles.
Koffing resembles a large, floating blue-purple ball with various gas-emitting stud-like orifices surrounding its body save for its face, which appears as a smiling mouth with two eyes, and two small white upper fangs protruding from its mouth and a skull and crossbones symbol directly below said mouth. Once a Koffing has gained enough experience points, it evolves into a Weezing. Weezing's design appears as two light-purple Koffings fused together at the side, one larger and the other smaller than normal, additionally joined by an appendage from each connecting to a smaller, spherical mass. Both faces appear to be frowning, with the larger featuring two lower large fangs and two upper blunted teeth. On each, the skull has been changed to simpler oval, with the smaller lacking the crossbones. Koffing is 2 feet (60 cm) tall, while Weezing is 3 feet 11 inches (119 cm) tall.
Designated as "Poison"-type Pokémon, Koffing and Weezing are filled with toxic gasses, which give them the ability to levitate and buoyancy. Their bodies can expand and deflate depending on mood and temperature, and may explode if agitated enough or put under intense heat. They will also expel gases from their body, the toxicity of which is relative to their mood. Weezing represents the result of two Koffings fusing together after their gases mix, and as one inflates, the other will deflate. Though the games make mention of triple-headed Weezing, none appear in any games or media. Both communicate by uttering their names or syllables thereof, and when doing so both heads of a Weezing will "speak" in unison. They live in urban and suburban areas, and feed on dust, fumes, garbage and toxic waste.
Introduced in Pokémon Red and Blue, they served as two of several Pokémon species for players to capture and command in battles against other players or in-game non-player characters. Several of the latter also utilized the pair, including the antagonists Team Rocket and poison-themed boss, Koga. This trend was continued in the sequel games Pokémon Gold and Silver, with Koga's daughter Janine replacing him as a boss. In Pokémon Stadium and its sequel, both Koga and Janine continue to utilize the Pokémon in the respective games as bosses. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, a Koffing serves as a third of Team Skull, acting as a partner to a Zubat and serving as a minor antagonist and for the course of the game.
In the Pokémon anime series, a Koffing was used primarily by minor antagonist James of Team Rocket, first appearing in the second episode. It later evolved into a Weezing, and was released to protect a group of Koffing and Ekans freed from captivity. Ash used a Weezing in a Pokémon League entrance exam in The Ultimate Test. It defeated the instructor's Flareon.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Koffing is seen as one of Koga's Pokémon. When Koga and Blue are ambushed by Agatha's Gengar in Volume 7, Koga uses Koffing's smoke to relay his tactical plan to Blue without Gengar noticing. Koga's daughter, Janine, also has a Weezing on her team.
The Depth of Shallow Culture described Koffing and Weezing as examples of Japanese shinto practices, in this case the embodiment of coughing and wheezing as spiritual representations. Versus Books' Casey Loe described them as the "best of the Poison[-type] Pokémon" in Pokémon Red and Blue, though also stated that the inherent weakness of their type hampered them in the game. IGN called Weezing "downright hideous", though questioned "who DOESN'T have a soft spot" for it and cited its presence in the anime. They further praised its improvements as of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, stating "he's always been 'cool', but now he's actually halfway 'good' as well".
In terms of appearance, GameDaily ranked Koffing ninth on their list of the "Top 10 Weirdest Looking Pokémon", call it "basically a floating fart ball covered in pimples", and further described its design as bizarre and undelightful. However, InsertCredit's Tim Rodgers named it one of the top fifty video game icons, praising simplistic design and calling the skull-and-crossbones on its front "attitudinous", while noting it as a notch above other similar, round mascots in video games. GamesRadar stated it was difficult not to smile at its "Grimace-like face and chipper demeanor", though called its evolution "an abomination" and "very unsettling".