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Houndoom (Japanese: ヘルガー Hellgar) is a dual-type Dark/Fire Pokémon.
Houndoom is a quadruped, canine Pokémon that is mainly black with a long orange snout and an orange underbelly. It has small, red eyes and a black nose. Around its neck is a white band with a small skull-shaped pendant on its throat. There are two white bands on each of its ankles, as well as three rib-like ridges on its back. Houndoom has a long, skinny tail with a triangular tip and three clawed toes on each paw. On top of its head is a pair of long, curved gray horns. These horns are smaller on the female than the male.
As Mega Houndoom, the ridges on its back thicken, and it gains additional, bone-like rings around the base of its tail. The rings on its tail have small spikes on top, causing them to resemble vertebrae. The ridge at the base of Mega Houndoom's neck is longer and curves forward towards its shoulders. Instead of a band with a skull pendant, there is a large, toothed structure around its neck. This bone-like formation has two large spikes on either side and three pointed teeth on the bottom. Mega Houndoom's horns now point straight up with a small, outward curve in the middle. The two bands on its hind legs have vanished, and those on its forelegs are broken in the front. Its claws are a dark red due to its ability to generate more heat. Finally, the tip of its tail is now split down the middle.
In a Houndoom pack, the one with its horns raked sharply towards the back serves a leadership role. Leadership is determined by fights within the pack. Its gut is full of toxins, which are used to create fire. This gives Houndoom's fire a foul odor and the wounds it inflicts will never heal. Houndoom appears near volcanic areas. Its howling induces shivering in other Pokémon, and often sends them scurrying back to their nests.
- No other Pokémon has the same type combination as Houndoom and its pre-evolution.
- Houndoom has three different sprites in each Generation II game. It also shares this same trait in Generation IV games. This makes it one of the few Pokémon with this distinction.
- Mega Houndoom has the highest Special Attack of all non-legendary Dark-type Pokémon.
Houndoom may have been based on the Cerberus of Greek and Roman mythology, or other legends of hellhounds. Houndoom is also similar in appearance to Dobermans. Houndoom also seems to bear some resemblances to the extinct Tasmanian Tiger/Tasmanian Wolf. Much like the Tasmanian Tiger, Houndoom is a hound with a lean body and stripey pattern on its back. Houndoom's shiny coloration could be based on Yama, the Hindu Lord of the Fallen, who often appears blue and red.
Houndoom is a combination of hound and doom.
Hellgar is a combination of hell (alluding to its dark and fiery nature, as a hellhound) and gar (a sound that dogs make).
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