Origins & NameHoundoom is likely based on the hellhounds that are mentioned in many different mythologies and folklore. They are basically supernatural creatures in the form of dogs. Hellhounds are often associated with a variety of characteristics such as a foul odor, black fur, glowing eyes and super speed or strength. Further, they are frequently said to have the power of fire because they are guardians of the world of the dead. According to European legends, hearing the howl of a hellhound is a bad omen or even a cause of death! Many parallels can be drawn between such folklore and Houndoom. It has black fur, speed is one of its highest stats and is both a dark and fire type. Houndoom is also known for its smog and pungent smelling flames. Some of Houndoom's Pokédex entries make reference to it having an "eerie howl" or a howl which is associated with the "call of the grim reaper." Such entries could be drawn from the hellhound being an omen of death. Houndoom's horns and bone-like structures around its back, neck and feet also give off a "death" vibe. This, too, could be based on the hellhound's relation with the underworld.
In regards to actual appearance, I think Houndoom mostly resembles a Doberman Pinscher. These type of dogs are known for being highly intelligent and loyal companions. This too, can be drawn to Houndoom because they are smart and loyal pack Pokémon.
Houndoom's name is obviously a combination of the words "hound" and "doom." Hound is another word for a dog and the doom portion could reference a number of things from being a bad omen to having poisonous flames which cause untreatable burns. Its Japanese name, ヘルガー (herugaa), is likely a combination of "hell" and "gar." Hell could refer to it's fire and dark attributes and "gar" is a noise similar to what a dog would make. Both the English and Japanese names therefore resonate with the concept of the hellhounds as well.
Hellhound @ Wikipedia
Why HoundoomI actually remember the very first time I came across Houndoom. I was playing my Silver version and suddenly a wild Houndour appeared in the grass outside of Celadon City! I accidentally fainted it and searched for a good 15-20 minutes (or at least it felt that way as a kid) before I came across another one. I don't know why I was immediately so interested in having one but I was determined to catch it. I was even more delighted when my newly caught Houndour evolved into Houndoom! Ever since that day in 2000, Houndoom became my favorite Pokémon. Any time I was in a Pokémon comic or story done by one of my friends or myself, Houndoom was my partner. I made up how we met, why Houndoom didn't like to be in it's pokéball, etc. No matter how many new Pokémon I came across, Houndoom was never challenged for the spot as my top favorite Pokémon until somewhat recently. If I had to split hairs, I would probably call Darkrai my "favorite" these days. However, Houndoom will always be my partner. I have one in every single game and refuse to have a play through without one unless it really is impossible! As for why I like Houndoom so much, I really have no idea even to this day. I suppose it's probably because I like dogs a lot and loyalty is a trait I am fond of in general. I'm sure Houndoom will be my partner for many more years to come!
b a c k . c l e a r . f o r w a r d Dancing with Devils and its contents are © Samantha, however Houndoom and Pokémon are © Nintendo and other rightful owners. Dancing with Devils is a part of AFTER-DEATH.ORG.