The world of Pokemon has been a pop culture mainstay for the better part of 20 years. With its signature catchphrase and adorable mascot, Pokemon quickly invaded western TV in 1997 and soon won the hearts of gamers everywhere with 1998’s release of Pokemon Red/Blue. It’s seen countless iterations of video games, as well as various animated cartoons. Pokemon has captured the attention and imagination of kids for many countless years. Whether you enjoyed the video games, TV show, trading card game, or countless memorabilia, Pokemon has had a way of injecting its world into the fabric of our inner children. It’s ingrained itself in pop culture, which is something many other properties haven’t been able to do. Pokemon constantly re-invents itself and adds on to an ever expanding universe of interesting creatures and hilarious characters that sometimes end up in tumultuous circumstances.
That being said, there are plenty of things the most fervent of fans of Pokemon may not even know. The world of Pokemon is full of mysterious secrets and hilarious misconceptions. It’s an imaginative world as deep, or as shallow, as one wants to make it. Throughout the years, people have spent countless hours trying to piece together all of the subtle hints and references. There are entire sites dedicated to figuring out each and every minuscule detail of the Pokemon world. We’ll be going through a very sparse amount of little-known facts the world of Pokemon has to hold. I understand that you might know some of these things, but I highly doubt you will know each of these 20 incredible facts having to do with the world of Pokemon.
There was a Pokemon Green Version in Japan
Though gamers were initially exposed to the world of Pokemon in 1998, thanks to the Red and Blue Versions releasing side by side, Japan saw the release of a third version, Pokemon Green. This 3rd version featured Venusaur on the cartridge and was initially released alongside Pokemon Red at launch in Japan. Japan’s Blue Version was released to the public eight months after the release of the other two. It offered improved graphics and dialogue. It’s code, script, and artwork was used as a template for the worldwide releases of both Red and Green. With the international release of these games, Red and Green were renamed to Red and Blue. Little is known as to exactly why they changed it to Red and Blue, but some believe it has to do with the marketability of Blastoise as opposed to Venusaur.
Spinarak was created in a children’s Pokemon design activity in the American Trading Card Game League. This is actually a lie that has perpetually been assumed as fact due to it appearing on the famous Pokemon wiki called Bulbapedia. Spinarak was featured in the second generation of Pokemon, which released in 1999. The American version of the Pokemon TCG didn’t officially start a league until 2000. Many sites have come forward to debunk this long-running misconception, but it hasn’t stopped people from writing about this supposed mark of American pride in the world of Pokemon. It’s still not out of the realm of possibility that Spinarak was indeed a creation via a children’s design activity in Japan, but there is no conceivable way that the cute little spider Pokemon’s origin lays in the states.
There’s been a long-running fan theory that Cubone is actually the result of a baby Kangaskhan unfortunately losing their mother. Besides the stunning resemblance between the sprites for both a Cubone and baby Kangaskhan, there is indeed some factual evidence that leads to the strengthening of this mysterious theory. Code enthusiasts have found that the missing code that results in the appearance of the infamous MissingNo actually relates to the lack of implementation of Marowak having a final evolution. The code was moved to an empty spot and led to the creation of the bizarre encounter. The theory is that the developers ran out of time and were actually planning to make Kangaskhan the final evolution of Cubone/Marowak. The last piece of evidence lays within the Pokedex entries for both Cubone, the orphan Pokemon, and Kangaskhan, the parent pokemon. Strange coincidence right?
Gengar might actually be Clefable’s shadow
Unfortunately, this myth has never been proven and doesn’t have a ton of tangible evidence outside of just comparing both of the Pokemon. The first thing linking Gengar and Clefable has to do with their place within the Pokedex. If you sort the Pokedex by index number, Gengar shortly follows Clefable. Gengar also happens to be listed as the shadow Pokemon. Mere coincidence? Clefable and Gengar have almost identical body shapes and seem to mirror each other’s outline near perfectly. Lastly, one of them is normal type while the other is a ghost type. This means that they technically can’t hit one another, which makes perfect sense. Have you ever tried to fight your shadow? One day the Pokemon Company might finally reveal if Gengar is indeed the shadow of their original plan for the face of Pokemon, Clefable.
Parasect is a Zombie Pokemon
Now, when people initially see their Paras evolve into its larger form, they’re under the assumption its shell just grew. Unfortunately for Paras, the shell on its back isn’t only a mushroom, it happens to be its controller. As the Paras evolves, the mushroom grows in power and takes over the entire body. If you look closely at a Parasect, you’ll notice that its eyes are completely blank. This process is based on a real-world fungus that turns ants and other insects into zombies. It is known to manipulate brain functions and turns its host into a slave. This same fungus was a huge inspiration for the zombie-like creatures in The Last of Us. Thankfully, this fungus is currently only successful when it comes to the simple brains of small insects.
Drowzee is Based on a Real-life Animal
Drowzee may be seen as a super creepy Pokemon, but he is surprisingly based on a real-life animal. Drowzee is based on an animal known as a tapir. At a quick glance, you can see an immediate resemblance between the two. The Pokemon Company did a great job of basing Drowzee on more than just the physical appearance of the animal. According to Japanese folklore, tapir was said to eat the dreams of children in their sleep. This allowed the connection to the psychic-type, as well as its trademark moves, hypnosis, and dream eater, to fall right in place during the creation process. There are tons of Pokemon that bare a resemblance to real-life counterparts, but implementing the folklore is taking it to another level. A creepy and nightmare-inducing level, albeit.
Magneton’s Weight Makes No Sense
Magneton is considered my many to be the laziest and least creative evolution in the original set of 151 Pokemon. At a glance it may look like a Magneton is simply made up of three Magnemites that are either in close proximity or somehow fused together. This simple glance is pretty accurate description of what a Magneton’s physical makeup actually is. Pokemon fans seem to have a problem with the literal culmination of its parts, however. The weight of a single Magnemite comes in at a dainty 13.2 pounds, whereas the weight of a Magneton is a whopping 132 pounds. With a little bit of simple math, one can conclude that a Magneton weighs 10 times that of a Magnemite, instead of the logical hree times the weight. There are plenty of conspiracies theories as to why this is, however, the simplest explanation is that the weight difference can be explained through a very complicated quantum physics formula. Simple, right?
Pokemon is Based on a Real Hobby
Did you know that the Pokemon franchise is entirely based on the hobby of bug collecting? The series creator, Satoshi Tajiri, actually drew on his own personal childhood when creating the early concepts of Pokemon. Many of his concepts included Pikachu, as well as the classic opening fight between Gengar and Nidorino. These early concepts, otherwise known as Capsule Monsters were heavily based on his adventures as a child in the world of bug collecting. Tajiri had a rather tough time trademarking Capsule Monsters and thus was the reason it landed him on Pocket Monsters, otherwise known as Pokemon. Almost every part of Pokemon seems to be grounded in various real-world parallels and draws inspiration from the inner childhood imagination of its numerous creators and contributors.
Pikachu Went on a Diet
Well, maybe not a diet, but his design has seen a drastic overhaul over the course of the last 20 years. When Pikachu first debuted in the anime in 1998, he was a chubby, almost round, adorable sidekick. As the years have progressed, we’ve seen him take on a more agile and sleek design. Many fan theories suggest that this change has taken place due to the concern of having a healthier role model for children. That being said, there are plenty of Pokemon who aren’t exactly the spitting image of health. Pikachu is, however, the face of the company, a name synonymous with the franchise. It would make sense that his design better reflected the company in a positive manner. A more logical explanation is that animated characters usually just change over time. It seems to be an inevitable part of the medium. Simply look at how Mickey Mouse has made multiple transformations over his iconic and long-standing career as the face of Disney.
When you’re Koffing, you’re Weezing
Koffing and Weezing have always been known as a Pokemon of choice for Team Rocket. However, many people don’t know that early in design they were both planned to have very different names. In the original mock-ups for both of these guys, their names were going to be Ny and La. This was based on two of the most notorious cities in the USA when it comes to pollution, New York, and Los Angeles.This is interesting because Koffing and Weezing are actually pretty good names. This must have been the reason for the change of heart during the design process. Another interesting fact about both of these purple polluters is that Koffing has always been depicted as smiling, whereas Weezing hasn’t showcased anything apart from a frown these last 20 years.