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In its normal state, Darmanitan is a mainly red, squat ape-like Pokémon. It has long, bushy flame eyebrows that curl at the base, and round, black-ringed eyes. The upper portion of its tan face is separated from the lower portion by a diagonal red stripe, and its large mouth sports spiked teeth. All these facial features give the impression of a manic or angered expression. Its head has no discernible neck to distinguish it from the rest of the body and its rounded back, which culminates in a stubby tail. It has long arms with spiky hair fringes on the wrists and large tan hands, with a similar arrangement for its hind limbs. Additionally, Darmanitan has three tan ovals on its underside. In its normal state, it is immensely strong physically; a single punch can destroy a dump truck.
During Zen Mode, which is accessed by Darmanitan with the hidden Ability Zen Mode, its red and tan fur changes blue as it bears the resemblance of a Daruma doll. Its eyes turn blank, and its limbs fuse with its body, rendering them immobile. In this state, it is hard as a rock. As it is rendered immobile, it uses spiritual and emotional strength to battle and to perform everyday activities such as gather and eat food.