With the release of Pokemon’s 19th and 20th entries to the core series fast approaching we wanted to take a look at 20 things all Pokémon trainers, new and old, should know! The Pokemon series as a whole has seen many changes since its debut, from the world it takes place in, down the the adorable little creatures themselves. This list serves as a primer for any trainer looking to brush the dust off their Pokedex, new trainers choosing their starters for the very first time, or even parents that would like to be more involved in their child’s game. After much research and debate, our Pokémon Proffessors at MGX have compiled this list to assist you in your journey. So here we go, 20 things all trainers should know before playing Pokemon Sun & Moon!
1) Pokémon originated as a video game (before cards, show, books, etc)
Breaking the traditional mold for a children’s series, Pokemon was actually in circulation as a video game before the television series, trading cards, collectibles, or anything else for that matter. The creator of Pokemon had the idea from “gashapon” vending machines popular in Japan, which dispenses toys or charms in small capsules. Shortly after the games debut the phenomenon spread like wildfire, quickly making its way overseas and topping the charts of video games sales worldwide. The international response led Nintendo and Game Freak to expand the universe into so much more. The rest, as the say, is history.
2) Pokémon is short for Pocket Monsters.
In Japan the game was released under the titles “Poketto Monsutā Aka” and “Poketto Monsutā Midori”, or “Pocket Monsters Red” and “Pocket Monsters Green.” The origin of the name stems from the idea of creatures being captured, trained, and contained within small capsules that trainers could carry in their, well, their pockets of course. The title was shortened to “Pokemon” in international markets due to potential legal issues with television series “Monster in my pocket.” The series was re-branded by combining the words “pocket” and “monster” hence the current name, Pokemon.
3) There were originally 3 versions of the game.
Majority of the Pokémon titles have been released in pairs, with a third conclusion to them being released a year or so later. That was not the case for the Japanese launch of Pokémon, in which three games were released. Originally, Pocket Monsters Red, and Green we released at retail locations while Pocket Monsters Blue was only available as a mail in game from a magazine in circulation at the time. Pocket Monsters Blue was later released as a full retail version in Japan, and was released beside Pokemon Red in the US as Pokemon Blue. Pokémon Green would not be seen in the western market until the days of the Gameboy Advance with Pokemon LeafGreen.
4) Pokémon are hatched from Eggs.
What are Pokemon? Where do they come from? Why are they here? While we can’t take the time to answer all of these questions in this post, we can inform you that Pokémon are bred and hatched from eggs. The Pokemon games feature an in game daycare center in which players can drop off a number of Pokémon to be trained while they continue their journey. While in the daycare center Pokemon can gain experience, find items, and even breed. If two of the same Pokémon type have been left in the daycare center for a certain amount of time they can produce an egg that can potentially have the stats, moves, and temperaments of their parent Pokemon.
5) There are over 700 Pokemon as of Pokémon X & Y.
When Pokemon made its explosive debut there were only 151 little critters to chase after. As of the latest core titles in the Pokemon game series, “Pokemon X” and “Pokemon Y”, there are a total of 721 Pokemon to be obtained on your journey. While most Pokemon can be captured through standard gameplay, there are a number of Pokemon that are only released by Nintendo via special event. Each generation of games has version exclusive Pokémon that can only be obtained via trading, or special circumstances like time of day and in game location.
6) All games take place in a separate region.
Much like real world the Pokémon universe is separated in to different continents known as regions. These regions vary in size and characteristics but in fact all take place on the same planet. Each generation in the franchise introduces a new region to be explored, challenges to overcome, and Pokemon to obtain. Starting with the Kanto region, and sprawling all the way to the most recent region Kalos, the world of Pokémon is massive. But in a world filled with over 700 creatures to obtain, gyms to conquer, and unforgettable journeys to be had, there must be plenty of space to contain it all.
7) To date Pokémon is the second highest selling video game franchise.
Pokemon has evolved into so much more than a video game. With trading cards, toys, clothing, television series, blockbuster movies, and even pop tarts, its hard to ignore the notoriety of the series. Originally released in 1996 in Japan, the games quickly turned from the latest gaming trend to becoming the second highest selling video game franchise to date. With over 279 million games sold its no wonder “Ash” and “Pikachu” have become household names the world over.
8) Rhydon was the first Pokémon drawn or conceived.
In the Pokemon community there is much debate on who was the “first” Pokemon. With some trainers arguing Bulbasaur, others contesting Arceus, and some standing with Mew, there is no debate behind the first Pokemon to be conceived in the series. While working on designs and ideas for the debut titles creator Satoshi Tajiri had drawn multiple scenes with the protagonist and his Pokemon that bares a striking resemblance to the now well known Pokemon Rhydon.
9) Pikachu is the only Pokémon given to a trainer at the beginning of the game that isn’t a starter.
In the beginning of each game the player is presented with a choice between 3 Pokemon to start their journey with. In all but one game these Pokemon have all been either Grass, Water, or Fire typing with a stage one and stage 2 evolution. Pokemon Yellow was the first and only game thus far that does not include this choice, instead it pairs you with a temperamental Pikachu to start your journey.
10) Stage 2 is the highest level of evolution for Pokémon
One of the core gameplay mechanics of the Pokémon series is the ability to “evolve” your Pokémon into a stronger, and often times larger, Pokémon. Pokémon start off as a “base” Pokémon, after one stage of evolution they become a Stage 1 Pokemon. However there are no Pokemon that evolve past the Stage 2 tier.
11) Each game has a few creatures known as “legendary” Pokémon.
In each generation of Pokemon they introduce, what are known as “Legendary Pokémon.” These Pokémon all have base stats higher than most other Pokémon, and are only obtainable through specific gameplay conditions. These Pokémon are often given out in events by Nintendo or found post game. “Legendary” Pokemon include Mewtwo, Giratina, Darkria, Jirachi, etc.
12) Most Pokémon are influenced by creatures or objects in the real world.
This one might not come as a surprise to many, but most Pokémon are influenced by real world objects or animals. The creators at Nintendo and Gamefreak have attributed this to making the games more approachable to a general audience. While there are definitely Pokemon that are unique to the world, the resemblance of most Pokémon to real world creatures or items is easy to spot.
13) All Pokémon fit into an elemental typing (Grass, Fire, Water, Electric, Etc)
In the world of Pokémon, all creatures have an elemental affinity towards any of 18 different typing. These attributes come into effect when battling or training your Pokemon. For Example; Fire type attacks greatly damage Grass type Pokemon, or Water Type Attacks are super effective against fire Pokémon, Etc. It is a good idea to make a diverse party of Pokémon from all typing to have a well rounded team.
14) Pokémon Go has become the fastest game to top the iOS and Google Play.
Whether you are a Pokémon master or beginning your journey as a trainer, it is hard to ignore Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality cellphone game that allows trainers to capture and train Pokémon based on their GPS location. Since its launch the app has skyrocketed in popularity, and has become the fastest growing cellphone game available on iOS and Google Play markets. It has since dropped from the #1 spot but is still widely played and continues to be downloaded regularly.
15) Each Trainer is given a Pokédex at the start of their journey.
At the start of your Pokémon journey you are given a basic objective, a starter Pokemon, and arguably the most important item is your Pokédex. The Pokedex is a device used to record Pokémon data and tracking your journey to “catch ’em all.” The Pokédex records data like size, location, description, typing, and even down to the cry of each Pokémon. The Pokédex has gone through many changes throughout each generation but its functions have remained relatively the same. Upon completion of the Pokédex the player is given special items or access to secret locations depending on the title.
16) Certain Pokémon only evolve via items known as “stones.”
We mentioned Pokémon evolution earlier, but unlike most Pokemon that evolve via training and leveling up, there are select Pokemon that are only able to evolve with the help of a hold item known as a “stone.” There are many different stones ranging from “moon stone” to “water stone” and they all have different effects on the Pokemon holding them. One notable Pokemon family that relys on stone evolution is the Eevee tree. The Pokemon Eevee is a normal type base Pokemon, but when given any of the evolutionary stones it will evolve into a different form accordingly. Try giving a few of your own pokemon one of these stones and see what happens!
17) Pokémon have hidden values assigned to them known as IV’s and EV’s and they determine the growth rate of a Pokémon’s stats.
Pokémon is often categorized as a children’s game and as such is often overlooked by the older competitive gaming community. If you take the time to dig a little deeper however, you will find out that Pokemon has a very in depth system in place that determines a Pokemon’s moveset, stats, and even temperament. Each Pokémon is assigned a set of IV’s, or inherited values, that are passed down from parent Pokemon and determine base stat bonus’ for the Pokémon. EV’s, or effort values, are given to a Pokémon as they level up and determine the growth of a specific stat. For example; if your Pokemon were to knock out 10 Geodudes before leveling up you would receive a +2 in defense, as opposed to a +1 boost.
18) A Woman by the name of Lisa Courtney holds the world record for the largest Pokémon collection at 17,127 items.
Some trainers have taken the catchphrase “Gotta catch ’em all” to the heart more than others. One such trainer’s name is Lisa Courtney, and she has held the world record for the largest Pokémon collection. Currently her collection has grown in size to over seventeen thousand different items. She continues to collect and grow her collection as games and memorabilia are released, which will make her record quite difficult to beat for any hopefuls.
19) The fan community for Pokémon have speculated rumors and myths about creatures, characters, or places in each game. Ranging from the ludicrous to probable.
Just like with any popular entertainment series, the Pokemon Franchise has left a lot to the imagination, leading forums and fan groups to speculate rumors and myths about the lore in the series. From a great Pokemon war that devastated most of the land, to a fan made game in circulation known as “Pokemon Black” with a literal ghost Pokemon that takes the life of its opponents instead of knocking them unconscious. Most of these have been disproven or altogether ignored by The Pokemon Company, while some are still open to speculation and discussion.
20) The Pokémon series has something to offer for gamers of all ages.
While the target audience is definitely more children oriented, the Pokémon franchise as a whole has much much more to offer. At its core it is a game about capturing cute little critters and training to be the very best, but when you pull away the shroud you find so much more. The basic journey of the games is simple, yet challenging enough to keep gamers of all ages entertained. Each game offers post game content that is often larger and more substantial than the plot. Whether you plan on catchin ’em all, beating the regions gym leaders, creating an IV&EV bred super team, or just passing on your childhood favorite to a little trainer of your own, the Pokemon games truly offer something for people of all ages and groups.
Be sure to use all of these tips when starting your new journey in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, releasing this November for the Nintendo 3ds & 2ds! Be sure to stop by Matt’s Game Exchange in the meantime for all of your Pokémon needs. From trading cards, games, consoles, and anything else you’ll need in your Pokémon journey, we’ve got you covered at Matt’s Game Exchange.
And don’t forget – we just want you to play games and have fun!