Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire’s developers drew inspiration for its new generation of monsters from animal encyclopedias, cartoons and movies, and their own childhood experiences. One family of Pokémon, the Aggron line, was borrowed from Korean mythology. Aggron’s design in particular seems to be from a 1985 Korean movie called Pulgasari, which has an interesting and disturbing story behind its production.

In 1978, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il abducted filmmaker Shin Sang-ok and his wife, actress Choi Eun-hee. The duo were forced to make films for the dictator (produced by Kim Jong-il himself) for years, and
Pulgasari was their final project before they managed to escape to America after giving their “caretakers” the slip in Vienna in 1986. The depiction of the Pulgasari monster in the film is fairly consistent with Aggron, including horns, plated shoulders and stomach, and a massive tail.

The Pulgasari (or sometimes Bulgasari) of Korean legend is an iron-eating monster that starts out small and grows to enormous heights. This matches perfectly with the Aggron line, with Aron’s Pokédex entry stating that it creates its own body by eating iron. For more awesome facts about Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire you can check out the newest episode of Did You Know Gaming above!

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Ben Lamoreux

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