Pokémon at 25: 100 facts throughout the company’s history

41. Ash’s Pikachu and personal addressing

If you look at the history of the anime, Ash’s Pikachu has many phrases with certain lines being consistently directed at popular characters in the show. This has never really been confirmed, but Ash/Satoshi is always referred to as “Pikapi” by Pikachu. Other examples include “Pipipi” to Togepi and “Pipi-kachu” to Team Rocket.

42. They think it’s all over… it isn’t?

Pokémon Gold & Silver are considered to be of the most popular Pokémon games and they were made to be the ‘ultimate’ Pokémon game. The reason for this wording is that the creators thought they would be the last Pokémon games in comparison to trends before them dying out. However, due to the success of the games the wheels kept on turning.

43. The hardest instrument to learn?

In Diamond & Pearl, some legendary Pokémon such as Shaymin and Darkrai were kept hidden in the game and were unlocked by special events – usually with a wonder card that enabled players to catch them. Arceus is one of the most iconic Pokémon from those games, however it was not available to be caught when the games were released. There was supposed to be an key item called the ‘Azure Flute’ that would be picked up at the Poké Mart like the other key items. However, Junichi Masuda said in a 2013 interview that the flute would have been too confusing for players and so the idea was scrapped. Confusing how?

44. It’s not the size that counts

At least it’d fit comfortably in your pocket.

The Pokémon Mini, which was a handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges released in 2001/02. It had a real-time clock and infrared port for multiplayer gaming and featured Pokémon mini games such as ‘Snorlax’s Lunch Time’. The handheld itself only weighed 71 grams, which makes it to date the smallest Nintendo gaming system.

45. Stating the obvious

The fighting game Pokkén Tournament takes its name from a combination of ‘Pokémon’ and ‘Tekken’, however on the German box art for the game it simply says ‘Pokémon Tekken’.

46. No Pikachu?

When creating the anime, the makers of Pokémon wanted one Pokémon to focus on who would be Ash’s partner throughout the series. After hearing a lot of feedback, Pikachu was positively chosen to be the iconic sidekick we know today. However, in the manga that was released around five months before the anime, the protagonist Red had a Clefairy as his starter and so there is every chance that Clefairy could have been the star of the show.

47. Nods to names

This is probably one of the more popular Pokémon facts out there, but fighting-type Pokémon ‘Hitmonlee’ and ‘Hitmonchan’ are thought to be named after legendary movie fighters ‘Bruce Lee’ and ‘Jackie Chan’. What supports this are their original Japanese names: ‘Sawamular’ (Japanese kickboxer, Tadashi Sawamura) and ‘Ebiwalar’ (Japanese boxing champion, Hiroyuki Ebihara).

48. No legendary status

In the creation of the first games, Arcanine was planned to be a legendary Pokémon alongside Articuno and Zapdos. However, to prevent any confusion as to why there were two birds and one dog, Moltres was designed and Arcanine was just a regular fire-type.

49. Time for a change

Pokémon has a history of breaking records and reaching high places, but it was the first video game to feature on the renowned Time magazine. The issue which was released 22 November 1999 questioned whether this Pokémon hype was good for kids. I’d like to say yes. For some bizarre reason, Poliwhirl takes centre stage on the cover.

50. Hiker Nob

The core series of Pokémon games up until Platinum were translated from Japanese to English by just one person, Nob Ogasawara. There are both Hiker Nob and Black Belt Nob characters in most of the early generations and it is believed they are named after the translator.

51. Delicious dreams

Pokémon is renowned for having bizarre Pokédex entries and one of the earliest that gave people the creeps was for the psychic Pokémon, Hypno.

Gold: “When it is very hungry, it puts humans it meets to sleep, then it feasts on their dreams.”

52. More bizarre entries

Another creepy one comes from the balloon ghost-type, Drifloon:

Pearl: “It tugs on the hands of children to steal them away

Alpha Sapphire: “Children holding them sometimes vanish.”

53. The Machop hip-hop

Pokémon has been referenced in songs over the years and here are a couple highlights, although most are terrible:

Nines – CR: “Now I got more green than Bulbasaur.”

Ice Cube – Can You Bounce?: “I collect ’em like Pokémon.”

A$AP Rocky – Hands On The Wheel: “Got that purple drink. Got that yellow drink. Then we mix it up, call it Pikachu.”

54. Lucky for some

In the first series of the Pokémon anime, Ash only wins three out of his eight Kanto gym battles legitimately. These are in the rematches against Lt. Surge and Blaine, as well as defeating Koga in a previously interrupted match by Team Rocket. Most other badges are earned by saving the day.

55. Nobody gets left behind

I’m sure when the next roster of Pokémon are being thought out, plenty of ideas and designs are scrapped. In 2007, Junichi Masuda revealed that Shellos was originally planned for Ruby & Sapphire, but was then pushed back to feature on Diamond & Pearl. Allegedly, 68 Pokémon were scrapped in the making of R&S.

56. “These donuts are great, jelly filled are my favourite!”

In a means to stop confusion amongst young children in the US and UK, Japanese food in Pokémon such as onigiri were renamed to more relatable foods such as jelly doughnuts. The hilarious thing is that there’s clearly no resemblance between the two.

57. Pokémon appeared on a SEGA console

The SEGA Pico was an edutainment system that failed in the Western markets, but saw some success in Japan. Book shaped cartridges are inserted into the machine and are controlled by buttons and a stylus. A special ‘Pikachu edition’ was released of the Pico in the early 2000’s and it’s a shame it wasn’t called the ‘Pika’. There were three educational games including one that helped kids learn hiragana and katakana. These games were released after SEGA had stepped down as a console manufacturer and is one of the rare occasions a Nintendo title has appeared on another system.

58. Humble beginnings

Game Freak who make the Pokémon games started out as a video game enthusiast magazine. A lot of the staff from that magazine would later go on to make video games and eventually Pokémon.

59. A puzzling decision

By the turn of the century the Nintendo 64 had lost a lot of popularity in Japan, but was still popular in the West. Nintendo decided to release their new Pokémon Puzzle League game exclusively in the West. It is still to this day the only Pokémon game not to release in Japan. Fortunately, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge on the GameBoy Colour did release in Japan.

60. Limited spaces

Feraligatr has its named spelled like that due to the ten-character limit in Gold/Silver/Crystal and this has never been rectified. Intentionally its name would say ‘gator’, but losing the ‘o’ was the best option and has stuck that way ever since.

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