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Zarude is a bipedal Pokémon that resembles a monkey. Its body is mainly black with greyish tints. Four green rings surround each of its two arms along with two identical green markings on its hands. It has green eyes with red sclera along with a long black tail. On its chest is a gray marking resembling that of a rib-cage.
Zarude can grow vines at will from its back neck, wrists, and the soles of its feet. The vine it creates are flexible and strong. Zarude uses the vines for many situations. The vines are capable of wrapping around tree branches to move and collect berries from distant branches. Zarude's vines can also heal a wound by wrapping around it. Zarude can also use the vines to absorb energy from trees, then release that energy combined with its own. Zarude is known to live in packs located in the center of dense forests. Other Pokémon fear living in the same forest as Zarude due to it attacking anyone who is not a part of its pack. When Zarude fights it swings around the trees and their branches while relentlessly attacking with either its sharp claws or other means. Zarude excels in battles thanks to its quick wit.
While Zarude has many standard monkey features, it seems to resemble baboons and mandrills the closest, with its fangs, claws, size, facial structure, and fur around its head. Its Dark-typing may be a reference to the baboons' violent nature. It also possesses traits of spider monkeys with how they use vines to grapple enemies and trees, where spider monkeys use their prehensile tails. Zarude could also be based on the Shug Monkey in English Folklore and the "Carew Ape" that's said to haunt Carew Castle in Wales.
Zarude may be a combination of 猿 saru (monkey) and rude.