The franchise may have celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, but the appeal of Pokémon is timeless. This can be seen in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon’s record sales numbers, as well as just how many people found themselves poking around in Pokémon Go.
In its decades-long history, Pokémon has given us lush worlds and over 800 Pokémon. But just how much do players know about the franchise? If you fancy yourself a hardcore Pokémon fan, follow along and see if you know all of these fun facts.
1. The first Pokémon ever designed
It may be entry #112 in the Pokédex, but according to Ken Sugimori – the primary designer for the Pokémon games – Rhydon was the first Pokémon ever created. This is also the reason why sprites of Rhydon were so widespread in the original games. In that same interview, Sugimori mentions Lapras and Clefairy as some of the other earliest Pokémon designs to join Rhydon.
2. Fishing in Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue Gyms
Back in the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games, it was possible to fish for Pokémon inside the many Rhydon statues that Pokemon Gyms are adorned with. Using an Old Rod on any Rhydon statue will cause the player to encounter a Magikarp. You could also fish for Pokémon like Goldeen and Poliwag in the watery areas of the Cerulean City Gym since it takes place in a pool. You won’t find any particularly rare Pokémon, but there is a novelty to saying you caught a Pokémon from inside the Gym.
3. Splash has nothing to do with water
While ‘Splash’ suggests an association with water, the move in Japanese can actually mean both splash and hop, but usually the latter. This explains why the move can be learned by non-Water-type Pokémon such as Spoink and Hoppip. It also explains why Splash is disabled when the Psychic-type move Gravity is in effect.
4. Professor Oak’s Nidorino has the cry of a Nidorina
As one of the first ever Pokémon you see in the game, no one would blame you if you couldn’t tell, but Professor Oak’s Nidorino gives off the cry of a Nidorina instead of a Nidorino in the opening introduction to the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games.
5. Wailord is lighter than it looks
Despite being one of the largest existing Pokémon at 14.5 meters, Wailord is so light for its size that it would float in the air due to it being less dense. Wailord weighs only 398 kilograms, which puts its BMI (Body Mass Index) at 1.9. For reference, the optimal BMI for humans is between 18 to 25.
6. Original Pokémon names
In the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue beta, some Pokémon had distinctly different names than what we know them as now. For example, Koffing and Weezing were named Ny and La respectively to represent the polluted air in New York and Los Angeles. Kabuto and Kabutops were named Att and Lantis respectively as a reference to Atlantis. Jigglypuff and Wigglytuff had the adorable names of Pudding and Custard. And Gyarados had the much cooler name of Skulkraken.
7. Rotom’s different designs
Rotom’s default form is designed by primary Pokémon designer Ken Sugimori, and appears to be based on Pulseman--an action platform game developed by Game Freak and published by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive in 1994--which Ken Sugimori directed and designed with fellow Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri. Each of Rotom’s other forms were designed by different designers:
- Heat Rotom was designed by Lee HyunJung, who designed Tepig and its evolutions.
- Wash Rotom was designed by Hiroki Fuchino, who mostly did illustrations on Pokémon trading cards.
- Frost Rotom was designed by Hironobu Yoshida, who has helped out in designs in the Pokémon franchise since Pokémon Yellow, and is responsible for Pokémon designs such as Wobbuffet, Celebi and Deoxys.
- Fan Rotom was designed by Motofumi Fujiwara, a graphic designer on most Pokémon games and an illustrator on several Pokémon trading cards.
- Mow Rotom was designed by Yusuke Ohmura, who helped Ken Sugimori with the designs of Xerneas and Yveltal, and took over Sugimori’s role as lead Pokémon designer in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
8. James Turner is the first westerner to design Pokémon
British graphic designer James Turner, who works at Game Freak, became the first Westerner to officially design Pokémon in 2010. He designed seven Pokémon for Pokémon Black and White, two for Pokémon X and Y and another two for the Pokémon Sun and Moon. Aside from the adorable Vanillite evolutionary line, his designs tend to lean a little more on the creepy side, such as Vullaby, Trevenant, Buzzwole, and Guzzlord.
9. The Swords of Justice are based on The Three Musketeers
Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, and Keldeo are the legendary Pokémon collectively known as the Swords of Justice. The group is based on the French novel ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas. Cobalion is analogous to Athos, the oldest and de facto leader of the group. Terrakion corresponds to Porthos, the strongest, heaviest, and largest member of the group. Virizion is comparable to Aramis, the most feminine, vain, and romantic member of the group. Finally, Keldeo represents d'Artagnan, the youngest and the latest addition to the group.
10. Cosmoem is REALLY DENSE
According to the Pokédex, Cosmoem is only 0.1 meters in height, yet weighs a whopping 999.9 kilograms! As a result, Cosmoem is tied with Joltik, Flabebe, Cutiefly, and Comfey as the smallest Pokémon, and tied with Celesteela as the heaviest Pokémon. The reason Cosmoem is so heavy despite being so small is because it is based on a protostar. Protostars are incredibly dense baby stars that have an astonishing amount of mass squished into a small space. It’s quite a wonder how Lillie was able to carry Cosmoem around in her bag.
For more fun facts, follow us on Facebook!