Gotta catch ‘em all:
Looking back at Pokémon’s History
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 21:09
We all remember the first line of the Pokémon animé series theme, “I want to be the best, like no one ever was.” Indeed, the Pokémon franchise, in many ways, has done just that, as it is the second best-selling videogame franchise of all time, behind Super Mario Bros.
The franchise, beginning as a videogame from the mid-1990s, was created by Satoshi Tajiri and his friends at Gamefreak. As a child, Mr. Tajiri was infatuated with bug-catching, and originally wanted to be an etymologist when he grew up. When he realized that children in the city would have a much harder time enjoying his hobby, Mr. Tajiri wanted to create a way they still could in a city environment.
Even in the original franchise, there was a very diverse source of inspirations for the original 151 creatures, from Parasect being derived from the Cordyceps fungus, Vileplume’s origins in the Rafflesia flower and Meowth’s design being drawn from a maneki-neko charm. The original games also held a myriad of programming secrets, such as Mew, who was allegedly put into the games covertly and a non-insignificant number of Nintendo staff were completely oblivious to its existence. Deeper in the game’s coding, there was a planned fight against Professor Oak himself and he would have been the most powerful trainer in the entire game. The first wave of Pokémon games had the most rumors surrounding them, mainly stemming from glitches like Missingno, which was placeholder data. In fact, Missingno’s occasional association with Rhydon was because Rhydon was the first Pokémon to be programmed into the game.
One thing that some players of the older games may not have known are base stats of their favorite creatures. The speed stat, for example, dictates which Pokémon will move first. The fastest Pokémon of the original games was, oddly enough, the perfectly spherical Electrode, followed by Jolteon and Aerodactyl. Also notable is Kingler’s monstrous attack stat of 130, yet he barely had any moves to take advantage of that stat. His signature move, Crabhammer, wouldn’t be able to work off of that stat until the fourth wave of games, in which the offensive stat (a move based on its power) was decided on a move-by-move basis. Before this, all water-type moves had their power dictated by the “special attack” stat, which was pitifully low for Kingler compared to his mammoth attack stat. Likewise, Gengar couldn’t take full advantage of the move Shadow Ball, with his 130 special attack stat, because all ghost-type moves used to be based on the attack stat.
Today, the games have improved by adding more complexity to the battle mechanics; a notable example is the addition of Dark and Steel types in Pokémon Gold and Silver, or the passive abilities added in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Every new generation of games adds new attacks, passive abilities, methods of online play and of course, Pokémon. Next month, the sixth generation of Pokémon will begin with the X and Y versions for the Nintendo 3DS, and a new adventure will unfold once again.