These Role Playing Games, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise rivaling the Mario series (which of course is also published by Nintendo), and indirectly caused the proliferation of Western broadcasts of anime along with Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon.Released in Japan in February of 1996 for the Game Boy, Pokémon (or in Japan, Pocket Monsters) came in two versions: RedandGreen. The idea of the game is to run around and battle wild Mons with your own, catch them with hand-held balls, and teach them to battle (non-lethally) with each other under the guidance of human Trainers for fun and profit. The original idea was for an artificial form of insect collecting for kids that lived in cities and thus couldn't participate in such a hobby (as the original creator was a bug collector when he was a kid), with the paired versions providing incentive for players to get together and trade Mons with their friends (but more on that later).The strategy in the gameplay comes from two factors. First of all, there's an ambitiously large Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors setup. 15 (and later 17note excluding the ???-type, which was removed in Black and White) different elements are in play, and some species of Pokémon belong to two elements instead of just one, which can neutralize or compound the elements' respective resistances or weak points; Pokémon aren't strictly limited to moves of their elemental type eithernote though they do receive an attack bonus for it, but can learn almost any move the particular creature might reasonably be capable of executing (like Water Pokémon using Ice-type moves, or Dragon Pokémon using Fire-type moves), and sometimes ones they aren't. The second factor is the strict move limit: each of your Pokémon can only know 4 moves at once, out of a large movepool that they can learn from. This was hampered in the first generation by balance issues leading to some elements and species becoming obvious Game Breakers, but later generations have made many strides in balancing them out, most notably with the addition of Dark and Steel elements.The plot of each main-series game is typically a quest To Be a Master; the player is given one Pokémon to start their team with, then proceeds to take on the "Pokémon League" by catching new Pokémon, defeating other Pokémon trainers in battles (most importantly your childhood friend and rival), challenging elementally themed Gym Leaders and collecting Gym Badges, and ultimately battling the Elite Four to become the regional League Champion. Oh, yeah, and you manage to single-handedly take down some kind of crime syndicate (and/or save the world) at some point along the way, and capture really powerful Pokémon that the local legends are based on.While these aren't necessarily the greatest stories ever told, the games are certainly enjoyable, and the franchise took off like a (Team) rocket. This was mainly because the completion of the in-game storyline and Bonus Dungeons only comprised part of the gameplay. The real meat of the game (or as some would say, the only point of the game) was the one-on-oneCompetitive Multiplayer. Not only were the teams of Pokémon usable against the in-game enemies, these same Pokémon can be pitted against Pokémon trained by other live players of the game. As such, players continued to train and catch Pokémon just so they have the best team among their peers. And when we say they took off like a rocket, that's an understatement. Despite being a relatively young series, the franchise is the second best selling video game franchise of all time, by a wide margin note You can even put the third and fourth best-selling franchises together and they still don't top Pokémon!, and only is beaten by its older brother, the Mario franchise. Though it consistently has come close to topping it, Pokémon still has a way to go before it's number one.The multiplayer combat was one aspect of the game designed to promote interaction between players. To further facilitate interaction was the fact that Pokémon can also be traded among players, and that certain Pokémon can only be obtained by trading. That was the main reason behind the different versions of the game, as each version had eleven Pokémon that were exclusive to it, and trading was the only way to get those exclusives.The concept of Pokémon would not be confined to the Video Game medium. Merchandising sprung up all over the place, including, of course, an anime. As such, it became a full fledged Cash Cow Franchise. The game series continued on with a third version, Blue, that mostly just improved the graphics and altered the distribution of the mons, which also started the practice of making a "Special Edition" game for each generation, with an altered Pokémon lineup, and special events and items.Yet after all this, it wasn't until September of 1998 that Pokémon made its way to North America and then the world at large. The world got two versions, labeled RedandBlue, which were pretty much RedandGreen with Blue's better graphics. With so much time to prepare, the merchandising launch was all ready to go, and the games became as much of a smash hit in America and the rest of the world as they did in Japan. About a year later, a version loosely based on the anime called Pokémon Yellow was released, that featured now-mascotPikachu as your starting Pokémon and even better graphics.Of course, sequels were inevitable, especially in the video game world. The next generation of Pokémon games, titled Pokémon Gold and Silver , added the two new Types mentioned earlier, around 100 more Pokémon, among other improvements. Most notably, the developers improved game balance; the Psychic element was no longer the ruler of the roost. Crystal came out soon after Gold and Silver and is the first game to allow the player to choose their sex; previously the player's avatar was male. Further sequels added their own wrinkles to the game mechanics among other minor improvements/adjustments: Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire completely overhauled the the way stats were handled and gave Pokémon special Abilities and Natures, as well as implementing 2-on-2 battles and introducing the concept of Pokémon contests. Pokemon Diamond And Pearl reclassified attacks as Physical or Special based on the nature of the move, rather than on elemental Type as in previous generations; plus new features allowed worldwide trading over Wi-Fi. Pokemon Black And White escalated the multi battles by expanding them to 3-on-3 and introducing combination attacks, as well as adding new connectivity features. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 marked the debut of several new Pokémon Formes and introduced two new gameplay modes to reduce or heighten difficulty. Black 2 and White 2 also brought about the Pokémon World Tournament, bringing back every single Gym Leader and Champion from preceding Pokémon gamesnote barring Koga (Kanto Gym Leader in Red and Blue, Green, Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen) and Iris (Unova Gym Leader in White; Unova Champion in Black 2 and White 2.), as well as a few Bonus Bosses to challenge the player. With the announcement of Pokémon X and Y, the main series has now gone full 3D with cel-shaded graphics on the Nintendo 3DS, and will be the first games in the series to be released internationally at the same time world wide.You can visit the official website(s) (Japanese; English/Worldwide), as well as the official YouTube account (Japanese; English), Twitter account (English), and Facebook account (English). See also Game Freak's official website (here, in Japanese), and Junichi Masuda's blog (which contains content regarding the Pokémon series — Japanese; English).You can get the "é" symbol by holding down "ALT" and keying in "0", "2", "3", "3" or "1", "3", "0" in that order on the numerical pad to the right of the keyboard. For some keyboards "CTRL-ALT-E" works too (though others may end up with the Euro symbol instead). If you are using British keyboard layout, "ALT GR-E" will get you it (but it only works with the right hand key marked ALT GR). For Mac users, hold down option-E, then type an E. For iPhone, iPod touch and Android users, hold down on the letter E to get the option. Of course, if you are a native Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or French speaker or have your keyboard set to the U.S. International layout, chances are you don't need all that mess to produce a simple accentuated character.
Absurdly Sharp Claws: The move Cut allows the player's Pokemon to, well, cut down small trees with a single slicing movement. Flavor Text for various Pokémon species describes how their claw/pincer/etc. weapons are sharp enough to inflict significant property damage. Also repeatedly demonstrated in the anime, with Scyther in particular repeatedly seen chopping down trees in a single swipe.
Achievements in Ignorance: Implied. The "Unaware" ability allows a Pokémon to act as if its target hasn't been affected by any stat-changing moves during the battle. In other words, it can ignore boosted Attack/Defense simply by not knowing the stats were boosted.
Action Pet: Basically what a captured Pokémon becomes.
The Ace: There is a Trainer class literally called "Ace Trainer", though it was known as "Cooltrainer" prior to Generation IV. Their AI tends to be smarter than most other trainers, and their Pokémon more powerful.
Action Bomb: Anything that learns Selfdestruct or Explosion, most notably Koffing, Voltorb, Geodude... Pineco in particular can learn it at very low levels since its introduction in Generation II. Their AI Roulette makes them Goddamned Bats if you're lucky.
A Pokémon's "Speed" stat determines which Pokémon goes first in each round of combat, with varying effects:
Certain moves can have different attack power or effects depending on whether they execute before or after the opponent. In particular, the "flinch" status can only occur if the opponent strikes first.
Certain moves (like "Quick Attack") have increased or decreased "priority", making them always strike before or after the opponent's move. Later generations add other increased-priority moves such as ExtremeSpeed, Mach Punch, and Sucker Punch. Vital Throw (introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver ) is an example of a move with decreased priority; it hits last but is guaranteed to hit as long as the user is still conscious.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: As you advance in the game, the items in the Poké Marts get progressively more expensive. Justified by the fact that it's because the item selection gets better, but it's still Fridge Logic that every Pokémon Trainer would start at Pallet Town and progress through the cities in the same order; newer generations fix it by tying the product selection to the number of badges possessed instead of location.
Aerith and Bob: Masculine names in the franchise range from Barry to Ghetsis and feminine names range from May to Shauntal. However, this seems to largely be because the use of meaningful and punny names is more important than keeping the names completely realistic.
Wild Pokémon, and some of the early Trainers, pick their attacks entirely at random. You'd better pray that your rival doesn't pick Scratch or Tackle five times in a row during the first battle.
However, this was not the case in the original games (Red/Blue), as the AI would use the most Type Effective move it had. This led to Pokémon using moves like Agility over and over until they ran out of PP. This was fixed in Yellow.
All Flyers Are Birds: A lot of Flying-types that have a bird-like body shape behave in a sort of avian fashion. Aerodactyl, for example, is often seen standing on two legs and carrying things in its talons like a bird of prey. A few bird Pokémon invert this trope, though, such as the flightless Doduo and Dodrio.
All Your Powers Combined: The Baton Pass move allows you to pass any secondary effects to another Pokémon. With luck and patience, you could pass along a quadrupling of both Defenses, Speed, the Attack stat of your choice, give opponents only a 33% chance of connecting with most moves, and the ability to regenerate. It requires the patience of a saint and can be thrown off by a critical hit, some status ailments, the moves Roar, Whirlwind, Dragon Tail (unless you have a Smeargle with both Baton Pass and Ingrain, or Pokémon with the ability Suction Cups), Haze, or Clear Smog (though Steel types are immune to the last option).
The EV system works like this in a way. Every time you beat a Pokémon (trained or wild), you gain EVs in whatever is their best stat (like HP for Chansey, Speed for Ninjask, etc). After enough EVs in one stat, that stat increases one point. Basically, it means your Pokémon starts to take on the stats of the enemies it faces.
Technically this is false, since the game rolls a 256-sided die for each attack and will make it fail if it rolls a 255. This can also happen to the Master Ball. It's an incredibly small chance though, and most players will never experience it unless they rely on Swift as primary damage move, unlikely because of its limited power.
. It even works if your opponent is underground or up in the sky (though this was removed in later generations).
Similar attacks of other elemental types have been introduced in later generations: Faint Attack, Vital Throw, Aerial Ace, Magical Leaf, Shock Wave, Shadow Punch, Magnet Bomb, and Aura Sphere. Certain other moves, such as Gust or Earthquake, can even hit targets who are currently using Fly or Dig (which normally grants one turn of invulnerability before striking).
The No Guard Ability causes all attacks used by a Pokémon to become always-accurate, in exchange for granting the same to all attacks used against it, even allowing you to hit targets that are in the air, underground, or temporarily non-existent.
Lock-On and Mind Reader ensure the next attack will hit, even if the target uses the aforementioned moves; the only way out is switching Pokčmon.
Hurricane and Thunder always hit when it's raining, and Blizzard always hits when it's hailing.
Standards of the series are patches of grass with a darker shade than others, trash cans, the centers of plateaus, dead-ends, and rocks. Thank Arceus for the Item Finder/Dowsing Machine when they're anywhere else.
Animals Lack Attributes: The fact that Pokémon lack visible attributes (with exception for Miltank's cow udders, of course, as well as for some weird reason, Nuzleaf having nipples) is likely a culmination of its simple visual art style and kid-friendly target audience (and G-Rated Sex). The actual Mons can probably be assumed to still possess their attributes... after all, that Berry fertilizer has to come from somewhere. The various Pokémon that draw their designs from things other than animals are a bit more ambiguous. How exactly does one tell the difference between, say, a male and female Grimer — living blobs of toxic goo? Eh, forget we even asked.
In Ruby/Sapphire you can be rewarded with items to decorate your Secret Base, while in Diamond/Pearl it's your underground cabin. Platinum adds a villa, though you can only buy items and not choose where to place them.
It started in Gold/Silver, where you could decorate your bedroom at your mother's house.
The Dream World home in Generation V falls into this as well.
Banette used to be a doll that was thrown away by a child, and now seeks revenge. By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Shuppet.
Rotom can possess objects, as revealed in Pokémon Platinum, where it can possess a washing machine, a lawnmower, an oven, a freezer, and a table fan. Specifically, it possesses technology that uses a special kind of motor (if you're wondering why, spell Rotom backwards). The aforementioned objects are specially prepared for research purposes.
Voltorb is also implied to be a Poké Ball turned sentient, through an unknown cause. Its SoulSilver Pokédex entry specifically states that it was discovered when Poké Balls were invented. An entry in another game says its components are not found in nature.
Shedinja is the discarded exoskeleton of a Nincada after it evolves into Ninjask. Exactly how it is animated, especially considering the former occupant still lives, is not explained.
Claydol, according to the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Pokédex, is "An ancient clay figurine that came to life as a Pokémon from exposure to a mysterious ray of light." By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Baltoy.
Trubbish is a trash bag that came to live because of a chemical reaction.
A few more that are based on inanimate objects, yet are not implied to have been animated by outside forces, include Magnemite (magnets), Nosepass/Probopass (Moai statue), Bronzor (a bronze mirror), Bronzong (a bronze bell), Klink (a gear), Darumaka (a daruma doll), and Litwick/Lampent/Chandelure (Candle/Lamp/Chandelier, respectively).
Don't forget Vanillite, the most delicious Pokémon ever.
Anthropomorphic Food: Oddish, the radish Pokémon; Cherubi, the living cherry; and with the addition of the Vanillish line, we can now battle with living ice cream. Subverted with Exeggcute, which aren't actually eggs.
Anything That Moves: The shapeshifting Ditto will breed with just about anything. Except Legendary Pokémon (or itself, as of Gen 4) Including "gender-unknown" species who refuse to breed even with each other.
A crime syndicate takes over our city? Cults attempt to flood and/or dry out the world? Some lunatic with a god complex tries to restart all of creation? No problem, I'm sure some trainer will take care of it for us.
Also, N and Ghetsis in Black/White are kinda counting on this to pull off their plans (though N is also really frustrated by it, going so far as to outright state that if people in general were more like the player character, he wouldn't have to bother with separating people and Pokémon.)
In Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, citizens of the three ocean cities, Mossdeep, Sootopolis, and Pacifidlog, do show concern about the torrential downpour/drought/both affecting the area. The rest of Hoenn? Doesn't even care.
In Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, when Team Galactic blows up Lake Valor, the resulting shockwave/earthquake is felt all the way in Canalave City. The people in the library and the citizens standing outside comment on it. No one else does though.
In general, the people of Sinnoh seem to be more aware of Team Galactic compared to people of earlier generations and their respective teams... However, they still don't do much about it.
In the Japanese Red and Green versions, the designs for the Pokémon are (sometimes) really ugly, even by Game Boy standards. By the time the Yellow version came out, the designs became the ones we're more familiar with, and general graphics (especially sprite resolution) became more sophisticated with each generation.
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, one of the 10 phone numbers you can have at a time is Bill's, which is useful as he tells you how many spaces are left in your current Pokémon storage box and calls you to tell you when your current one is full, which is also useful because if the box currently being used and your party is full you can't catch anything. However, in the third generation, the box system was fixed so that a full box simply meant the captured Pokémon went to the next box, making registering Bill's number in the fourth generation remakes of those games largely pointless (he instead tells you of all the places in your boxes total, in which case you are screwed if you manage to fill all of them). On the other hand, you can register all the numbers you want in the remakes, so he's not hampering you, either.
The namesake trait of Shiny Pokémon is pretty much one; their original defining trait was that they were a different color (hence the Red Gyarados being referred to as such rather than Shiny Gyarados), with the shining effect and accompanying sound effect originally being due to the fact that their debut games could be played on monochrome Game Boy systems in addition to the Game Boy Color.
When the Nidoran lines were first introduced, they were unique in being the only Pokémon that had gender. Though Gold and Silver included genders for Pokémon, the Nidoran lines originally remained unique in having different appearances for each gender. Later games introduced gender differences to many more Pokémon, and even included certain Pokémon that could evolve differently based on their gender or were otherwise always one gender. At this point, there's no in-universe reason why Nidoran male and Nidoran female shouldn't be considered just one Pokémon that evolves into two separate lines based on gender (the real reasons are likely to avoid having to renumber the National Dex, and to allow each gender Nidoran to have a different moveset, which is still a unique attribute of the Nidoran lines)
What's really weird with the Nidoran lines is that Nidorina and Nidoqueen cannot breed with anything but Ditto—not even the male Nidoran line.
Many NPC trainers don't pay a lot of attention to the moves you have or use much in the way of strategy.
Mostly averted with the Battle Tower/Frontier, though occasionally the Trainers there will still do some odd things.
Generation IV in general bumped up the AI as well. Especially with specific Trainer types like Ace Trainers, Gym Leaders, and the Elite Four/Champion. There are also cases of Trainers using specific move strategies like Endeavor - Quick Attack and Mean Look - Curse (with Ghost types).
The Veterans in Gen V will catch you off guard by hitting your mons with super-effective moves that you'd never expect their mons to have. Yes, they finally have Trainers outside the Gym Leaders/Elite Four/Battle (insert facility name here) who bother to use TMs!
Ghetsis' Hydreigon being a prime example. It will be hitting you with Fire Blast, Surf, Focus Blast, and Dragon Pulse. The last being the only move that Hydreigons learn normally. It tends to be the biggest threat in his entire team.
The Mix Tournament in B2/W2's Pokemon World Tournament involves your opponent temporarily taking one of your Pokemon and vice versa. This can lead to some stupid moves like Elesa taking the only thing on your team weak against electricity in trade for one of her Electric types.
'Shiny' was the official term for shiny Pokémon back when Gold and Silver were released, but later generations called them 'alternately colored'; Nintendo then used the term 'shiny' again in Generation V, such as in the forms section of the Pokédex (which is easy to find when viewing the Pokédex entries for Johto's legendary trio after transferring the shiny versions of them given out prior to the launch of the generation).
Pokemon Black And White does this with some of the fridge horror of the series. They introduced Team Plasma, an organization based on the idea that it's morally wrong to force Pokémon to beat each other nearly to death for sport. The organization has two conflicting leaders — N, who honestly believes in the organization's mantra, and Ghetsis, who only preaches this to try and convince everyone else in the world to release their Pokémon so that he'll be the most powerful Trainer around. note Guess which one has a Heel Face Turn, and which one's the final boss...
Pokémon Special makes use of the "Pocket Monsters have the power to seriously injure or even kill" Elephant in the Living Room. Colosseum and XD do the same, with depicted Pokémon-on-trainer and human-on-human violence, with the S.S. Libra as the capper.
Ascended Meme: It's rumored that the infamous "PIKACHU! THE HORN!!!" moment from the anime led to Rhyhorn and Rhydon (and later on Rhyperior) all getting the Lightningrod ability in the third generation. Unlike in the anime, they retain their immunity to electric attacks. In fact, as of Generation V, Lightningrod NULLIFIES Electric attacks (not that they care).
Asskicking Equals Authority: Becomes more and more blatant as generations go on. Seeing just how expensive Gym contraptions become and how they serve literally no purpose other than that to confuse the challengers just for the hell of it - how much profit can you receive from that? - how some Gym Leaders like Clay and Elesa order people around, how Gym Leaders are the go-to authority (Crasher Wake) and no one but them, player characters, and Looker, does anything about anything, a Gym Leader is, by all means, the mayor / sheriff of the town in particular.
Possibly justified, given that the only times we see a character go on to become a gym leader (Blue/Green and Cheren) they were shown to already be powerful trainers (who hold back against challengers), so gym leaders are probably the most powerful trainers in the town.
Drayden from Gen V's title in Japanese literally is 'The Spartan Mayor'.
Happens whenever you send out or encounter a shiny Pokémon. Comes with sparkling stars radiating from the Pokémon. This was mostly because in Generation II (when alternate colored Pokémon were introduced), unless you were playing on a Game Boy Color, there would be no way to tell if a Pokémon was shiny or not; the gleam and sound was the only way to tell. It's also useful for people who happen to have color-blindness.
In Gen II, shiny Pokemon had a 3-sparkle icon next to their name. It was easy to miss, so the sparkle effect was understandable.
In Black 2 and White 2, if you encounter one of N's Pokémon in the wild, they sparkle like Shinies but are normally colored.
In addition, when the player enters the Trick House in Generation III, an Audible Gleam tips the player off to where the Trick Master is hiding. Until the difficulty spike, anyway.
Automatic New Game: Games from Fire Red and Leaf Green (except Emerald) until Black and White still display their title screen, but automatically proceeded to a New Game when the A or Start button is pressed and there is no save file.
Moves such as Hyper Beam which are ludicrously powerful and require a recharge turn afterwards, moves like Sky Attack which require a charge BEFORE, and it even extends to Pokémon - Slaking, Rampardos and Regigigas are all very strong, but are not that good competitively. Slaking has the Truant ability which prevents it from attacking every turn (and in 4th generation, each turn is much more important than 3rd generation, and it can still be utilized well if one is very good), Rampardos is a Glass Cannon to a massive extreme, and Regigigas has the Slow Start ability which keeps him from having full power and speed for 5 turns, which are reset if it switches or is forced out.
Use Skill Swap on Slaking in Double Battles, and watch it become a truly terrifying, team-slaughtering threat. Rampardos can be made into a huge threat with a speed boost or under Trick Room.
Some Pokémon qualify as this. Onix for instance, is surprisingly weak for a giant snake made out of stone.
Shuckle has the highest Defense of any Mon in the series, and by using "Power Trick" can acquire the highest Attack of any Mon in the series. But good luck actually landing a blow after Power Trick, because swapping out its Defense means that just about any physical strike whatsoever will cause a One-Hit Kill.
Theoretically, Shuckle can deal a whopping 481,266,036 damage with a critical hit (a number much higher than the highest possible life total) under the right conditions — conditions so improbable that they have rarely been reproduced even under laboratory environments.
Generation V adds Archeops, a Pokémon whose overall base stat total is exceeded only by the legendaries, "pseudo-legendaries" (Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, Garchomp, and Hydreigon), and Slaking, who as mentioned before has a severe handicap limiting its usefulness. Its stats aren't terribly balanced, however, with high numbers in both attack stats and speed but mediocre HP and defensive stats. It also has an ability which halves its attack stats when its HP drops below 50% of maximum.
Badass Adorable: Pokémon in general are powerful enough as it is, so ones like Riolu and Pichu could fit, but the best of the best include the ranks of Azelf◊, Celebi◊, Mew◊, etc.
Badass Crew: Forming one with your Pokémon so you can get all your badges and become a Champion is one of the main goals of the games.
Badass Grandpa: Literally. There is a battle with Professor Oak in Generation 1 that was taken out of the final game. He uses Pokémon that are level 66 to 70. This places his strength on-par with the player's rival and the Pokémon League Champion. And the Pokemon themselves are from strong species too.
A few gym leaders also qualify: Blaine, Pryce and Wattson as well. Alder, the Unova League Champion was also revealed to be one in Black 2 and White 2.
Bag of Holding: While the earlier games in the series had more limited space in the player's backpack, by the 4th Generation, your bag could have one slot for every item. Its possible (if you go out of your way) to fill it up to the point of being unable to get more by getting at least 999 of a single item (to force an item to take 2 slots), but very unlikely in practice.
The earlier games still qualify, if only due to Fridge Logic—for example, with 19 other different items in your bag, it's impossible to have, say, 1 Poke Ball and 1 Great Ball, but it's perfectly possible to have, say 50 Great Balls, since the game cares about the number of item slots, not the number of items.
In order to get the move Frustration to have its max power, the user's happiness must be 0. Walking 256 steps increases happiness by 1, and leveling up increases it by 5 (if the current happiness is at minimum), while to lower it, your only options are to use the bitter medicine on it (-5, -10, or -15 depending on what you use) or let it faint (-1). By contrast, max happiness and max Return power is easy to maintain even if you let the Poké faint every now and then thanks to walking.
Averted in Mystery Dungeon where it depends on user's IQ. Normally weak, it's incredibly useful in dungeons like Purity Forest where your Level is reduced to 1 and IQ is at minimum level, at which Frustration deals 45 damage, more than Lv. 1 Mon should.
Of course, this doesn't prevent it from being a massively powerful attack when trainers in the Battle Frontier use it, as the happiness stat of enemy Pokémon is always zero (Most Pokémon start at 70 happiness when caught).
Beneficial Disease: The Pokérus virus. If you're very, very lucky, a wild Pokémon you fight might just spread Pokérus to one of your Pokémon. With this condition, that Pokémon will gain twice as many effort points when an enemy mon is defeated. Basically, it will save you time when trying to fine-tune your Pokémon's stats. It can be spread from inside the mon's PC storage box. Pokérus does, however, "cure" after so many hours of play, so exploit it while it lasts. It isn't even clear whether Pokérus causes any suffering. So never mind the Video Game Cruelty Potential of mass temporary infection, trainer.
At least since Gen III onward, it doesn't spread inside the PC. However, storing a Pokémon DOES prevent it from "healing" so that you can put it in your party and spread it to your team later.
And at least since Gen IV, a pokemon cured from the Pokérus simply becomes unable to spread it, keeping the effort value boost forever.
Some Pokémon, by their mere presence, always change the weather in the general vicinity. It's easy to see how this could be inconvenient.
Pokémon that lose arms and/or legs when they evolve.
Supposedly, Lugia spends all its time sleeping at the bottom of the sea because it's too powerful. It can fly, but if it were to so much as lightly flutter its wings it would cause a 40-day storm and blow apart buildings.
Jirachi has the power to grant wishes, but only for one week every thousand years. It's asleep all those years. That means Jirachi must have a lonely existence, because if Jirachi were to make a friend, they would be long gone by the time it awakens. Unless they were a Ninetales or something else long lived.
Blue Is Green: Bronzor, Bronzong, Golett, and Golurk are in the green Pokédex group despite obviously being blue.
Blocking Stops All Damage: The moves Detect and Protect block any damage from the opponent's moves, except for a certain few moves.
Bonsai Forest: Often, the entire forests in the series look like they've been recently planted.
Bonus Boss: Several, though exactly which ones count depend on your criteria.
Experienced players tend to favor mid-level attacks like Thunderbolt over the flashy, high-power attacks like Thunder due to their higher accuracy and PP counts.
The Normal type also counts here; it isn't super effective against anything, but it in turn has decent defenses against everything except Fighting, and even an immunity to Ghost attacks. Normal type Pokémon also generally can learn a variety of different types of moves, both with or without TM assistance, making them quite versatile at the cost of no STAB for non-Normal-type moves.
Boss Bonanza: The main series games in general are applicable to this trope, as the Elite Four and the Champion are five bosses in one location while the rest of the game has Gym Leaders as one boss per location.
Lots of innuendo in the Japanese versions has failed to make it overseas. Even stuff that used to be considered acceptable was bowdlerized in the remakes, e.g. the Dirty Old Man outside the Celadon gym having his dialogue changed to state he's peeping into the gym because of the "strong trainers". The aid in Goldenrod City didn't notice you because he was also too busy admiring the 'strong' trainers, which happened to be all Beauties and Lasses.
Most likely the most important example of them all is the Dark type. The original name is Aku (Evil) and not the Japanese Dark equivalent Yami. This is why the various evil teams typically use Dark types, all Dark moves not named Dark Pulse or Night Daze are combat pragmatism bordering on just plain being a Jerk Ass, and over three Dark type families are based on criminal stereotypes.
The moves Lovely Kiss and Sweet Kiss are known In Japan as Demon's Kiss and Angel's Kiss respectively. They probably changed the names to remove religious references, however, they did not bother to remove or edit the animations of the moves in Generation 2, so it still shows a animation of a demon or angel giving a kiss whenever those moves are used. This also happens in Generation 3, though Generation 4 changed the former's animation and it doesn't match the name anymore.
The games are big on treating Pokémon humanely and with kindness, but it usually doesn't matter in practice - a Pokémon happiness will still increase just by being in your party and not treating them with anything less than general indifference. In fact, the ways to get super-powered teams for competitive play or the Battle Frontier generally involve complex eugenics programs that will leave you with dozens of Pokémon you'll just toss aside.
Goes a bit further with the Musketeer Trio in the Black and White games. An old man will tell you about how the Musketeer Trio grew to hate humans, but maybe, just maybe, if they were captured by a nice trainer, they would trust humanity again. That's fine and dandy and all, until you consider that the vast majority of players will just capture them for collecting and the dex info and likely won't use them in battle, just let them sit in a PC box for eternity.
Despite the "kindness" you show to your Pokémon, you are still forcing them to withstand lava and meteors and poison until they faint, then stuffing them in balls and making them go to some weird floating green dimension where they will float aimlessly about until you need them again. Also: In the games, the info on Pokémon is incomplete, so the player probably collects it themselves, and puts it in the Pokédex. Some of the entries: Golem can withstand DYNAMITE! Staryu's limbs will grow back even if CUT OFF!
Broken Bridge: The need to beat certain Gyms to activate certain overworld actions and... extremely thirsty guards that will stop doing their jobs and let you through if you give them some water (tea in the remakes).
Brother-Sister Incest and Parental Incest: Pokémon can and will breed with any other compatible Pokémon, family or not. This was partially averted in Generation II, due to the way the offspring inherited its statistics from the parent.
At this point, the entire type seems to be this for the developers; you know they've got something against it when it's the only one out of all seventeen types that doesn't have a legendary Pokémon to call its own after nearly twenty years and almost fifty other legendary Pokémon!!!
Not to mention it's only super effective against one other type, Grass, and how the last of the only two characters to specialize in it, Janine, was introduced *waaaaay* back in Gen II and she merely took the exact same position as the last Poison specialist before her note The previous one, her father Koga, ascended to the Elite Four..
Did we mention that it's weak to Generation I's Game Breaker element?
In the first generation, Poison was the most common type but got scaled back dramatically by the next generation; the other four generations combined don't have as many Poison-types as the first gen had!
In Generation I, Poison-type moves were super-effective against the Bug type and vice versa; the designers took that advantage out in Generation II's type matchup revision and Poison-types never ever got it back, though they did also lose its own weakness to the Bug type.
Finally averted somewhat in Black 2 and White 2 with Roxie, a new Poison-Type Gym Leader in Virbank City; considering its defensive benefits, it seems somewhat less of a strangler - namely, resistance to the Fighting type and absorption of Toxic Spikesnote nasty caltrops that poison Pokémon as they enter play..
Ice: With four weaknesses and resistance to only itself, Ice has been deemed nearly useless outside of Hail teams; very potent attacking choices, however.
Flareon: The poor thing had high Physical attack on a traditionally Special type, making it useless while its Eeveelutions siblings were awesome or at least decent; after the Physical/Special split, Flareon still sucked because it was denied a decent Physical Fire-type move five times on a rownote Diamond/Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold/SoulSilver, Black/White, Black 2/White 2). The worst part? There's a Fire-type move that would be perfect for it. It's called Flare Blitz. "Flare" Blitz...as in "Flare-on", and which even Entei picked up in an event distribution for Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions.
Flareon's Special Attack stat isn't terrible, either. It actually fared better than some of the other Eeveelutions did in the Physical/Special split - which is not to say the entire Eeveelution family couldn't stand to have its movesets redone, like learning a STAB attack at evolution, for example. The ones created in Generation IV, Glaceon and Leafeon, received Ice or Grass types, giving them more weaknesses than strengths from inception. Truly, the combat mechanic refinements were not kind to the Eeveelutions.
Prior to Generation IV, all Dark-type moves were classified as Special moves; however, almost all Dark-type Pokemon were physical attackers, meaning their Special STA Bs usually dealt less damage than any other Physical attack of any type.
Out of any other type, Dark appears as a Gym type the least...zero times, to be precise; the most glaring example would have to be Generation V, which introduced as many Dark-types as there were previously in all Generations combined, yet still didn't have a Dark-type Gym.
On the upside, it shares with Fighting, Psychic, Ghost and Dragon-types the trait of being commonly chosen by Elite Four members.
In terms of the evil organizations you battle in the game. The first two generations had the at least somewhat Affably Evil Team Rocket (with quotes like "It feels so good to be evil!"), barring a couple disturbing instances (killing Pokémon and chopping off Slowpoke tails). But by RSE, you had a group trying to force climate change. By the fourth generation, Team Galactic wants to reset all of existence.
Averted at first with Team Plasma, along with their leader, N, from Pokemon Black And White, who want to separate Pokémon from humans to probably prevent incidents like with the previous teams from happening again. It turns out that the true villain, Ghetsis, the true mastermind behind Team Plasma, is such a despicable, vile, and evil person that he manages to outstrip all the previous teams combined! (Including Cipher!)
In the first couple of generations the villains didn't seem to do anything besides wreak havoc on random Pokémon and locations. In the third generation, the villains had a coherent theme and goal, but they still didn't make much sense. By the fourth generation, though, defeating the villain had become just about as important as the stated goal of To Be a Master, a trend which continued into the fifth generation, owing to the nastier villains on the one hand, and greater plot streamlining on the other. In fact, Black and White are the first games of the series where you don't even battle the League Champion to beat the game; you have to face N and then Ghetsis instead.
Worth mentioning is that the battle with N is very similar to the circumstances of the battle against your rival in the original games. Your rival has barely conquered the Pokemon League, previous Champion and all, before losing his position as Champion to the player. N defeated the Pokemon League and had just finished his battle with Unova's Champion, Alder, before being defeated by the player. N was the Champion for all of a few minutes before losing the title.
Normal type Pokémon — Since Normal types can learn many types of moves, you usually don't know what moves they taught a Pokémon unless you already fought them before.
Many people assumed Reshiram and Zekrom would be Psychicnote because it is the closest equivalent to a "Light" type Pokémon has/Dragon and Dark/Dragon respectively because of their color scheme and Yin Yang theme. They're not; they're Dragon/Fire and Dragon/Electric.
Lugia has been mistaken for a Water Type before. It's Psychic/Flying. The fact that it is said to be the guardian of the seas (where it lives) and has a version counterpart that is part Fire does not help matters.
Groudon is not a Fire Type, it's a Ground Type and only a Ground type. It has the same problem as Lugia of having a version counterpart that helps perpetuate this mistake. The Ruby cartridge being red, just like Red version with Charizard (a Fire/Flying type) on the cover, did not help either.
Riolu and Lucario look like Dark/Fighting types. They're Fighting (with Lucario being part Steel). Lucario was even thought to be the first Dark legendary at one point.
Mawile looks like a Dark/Fighting type. It's Steel, making it probably the only Steel Type other than Jirachi without a gray, blue or red color scheme.
The fanbase has noticed for a while now that Charizard and Gyarados both really look like they should be Dragon Types but for some reason they're not. This is made all the more conspicuous by Altaria, which is obviously a bird but for some reason is part Dragon despite having no clear draconic features, and the Gible line, land sharks. Yes, the European dragon and the sea serpent based off of a Japanese myth of a carp turning into a dragon are not Dragons, but the living cloud and the hammerhead sharks are.Our Dragons Are Different indeed.
Gyarados at least has the excuse that Water/Dragon would have been incrediblybroken back in Generation 1. Also, Game Freak may have been going for Rule of Symbolism with the Legendary Carp legend — while Gyarados is not a literal dragon per se (by virtue of being Dragon-typed), it is a dragon "through perseverance" (has Dragon-type affinity via moveset and Egg Group placement) - not to mention that Gyarados is a Flying carp. Some also believe that the myth has the part where after the dragon-carp caused an outrage, the gods removed its rights to be a dragon. Charizard, on the other hand, has no such excuse.
It kinda does; making it a Dragon would have gotten rid of its weakness to Blastoise's water attacks, thus breaking the Rock-Paper-Scissors type advantages of the Kanto starters.
To be fair, though, they can both learn Dragon-type moves on their own, and they both are in the same breeding group as many other Dragon-type Pokémon.
Do note that the Dragon egg group isn't really about "dragons". It contains non-"dragons" like Arbok and Seviper, and is treated more as a general reptile group.
Altaria is a dragon if one where to connects its references (which are very obscure). It's based on the Tyltalis, which is then referenced as the Blue Bird of Happiness, which is then referenced as one of the stars in the Draco constellation. Garchomp is a dragon land shark.
Buizel/Floatzel and Bidoof/Bibarel are brown and often found on land, so you'd expect them to be that generation's answer to Zigzagoon. This is only half-true for Bibarel (Normal/Water) but averted with the all-water Buizel.
Combat Pragmatist: The Dark Type is characterized by attacks that involve fighting very dirty in order to win, to the point where some of the moves seem to constitute outright cheating. Some options from the Dark Type movepool include: punishing the opponent for raising their stats (Punishment), false crying (Fake Tears), slugging the opponent as they ready an attack (Sucker Punch), beating up an already hurt opponent (Assurance), throwing foreign objects (Fling), denying the opponent use of their held item (Embargo and Knock Off), stealing the opponent's item (Thief), stealing the opponent's stat changes or healing attempts (Snatch), switching held items (Switcheroo), pissing the opponent off enough to force it to use only attack moves (Taunt), banning the opponent from using moves twice in a row (Tormentnote wreaks hell on Choice Band/Specs/Scarf users!), hitting an opponent hard as they try to retreat (Pursuit), hitting an opponent by using their own strength against them (Foul Play), and calling on the other Pokémon on your team to beat up on the opponent (Beat Up).
Comeback Mechanic: The moves Reversal and Flail do more damage the less HP the user has.
Com Mons: Caves, tunnels and mountains tend to be home to the Zubat family. Tentacool is often called "the Zubat of the sea."
Rattata, Pidgey, and pretty much everything else that resides near the player's hometown.
Magikarp deserves special mention as the most common Pokémon, being available in every body of water in games in which it appears - even in Pokémon Snap.
Starting with Generation III, these Pokémon have been given certain gimmicks to make them more viable Mons in general.note Good examples are Swellow's "Guts", which gives it an attack boost under status ailments and synchronizes with Facade and Brave Bird, or Staraptor's massive attack strength upon evolution and Close Combat to hit Rock and Steel types hard.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It is not uncommon to encounter Trainers owning evolved Pokémon who are below the level you'd have to train them to to reach that form. Lance having a Level 45 Dragonite for example, when Dragonair doesn't evolve to that form until Level 55.
Slightly subverted in the original games since you could also find under-leveled monsters in some areas. Lance is STILL a cheater though, since his Dragonite knows moves that it can't learn.
Pick a battle facility. Any battle facility. The higher your winning streak, the more the AI will do to stop you, even going as far as cheating. How else can you explain this?
Console Cameo: Every Pokémon game features the current Nintendo home console in the player's room, and whatever system the game is on is mentioned by NPCs.
Continuity Drift: Green/Red/Blue/Yellow's Pokédex and sprites portrays the Pocket Monsters as genuinely monstrous, a stark contrast to the later generations. The dex entries also frequently reference real world locations (Arcanine) and animals (Gastly), has Pokémon giving live birth instead of eggs (Mew), and more.
Continuity Nod: The first generation had a very prominent puzzle involving searching trash cans to locate a pair of randomly-placed switches. Every game in the series gives a response every time you examine a trash can, any trash can, even if 99% of the time your response is merely "the trash can is empty."
Black 2 and White 2 go so far as to give you a medal for obsessively inspecting trash cans.
Rui and the Aura Reader will prevent you from Snagging a clean Pokémon in the Orre games as well. You keep the ball, because the Snag Machine (which was designed to steal a trainer's Pokémon!) doesn't get a chance to function.
The diploma awarded for completing the entire Pokédex; that is, registering every last known species in each generation.
Ribbons awarded for winning Pokémon Contests or the Pokéathlon.
In the three main Generation IV games, Ribbons allow you to enter the Ribbon Syndicate. On the upper floor, you can massage one Pokémon daily, which increases their happiness (and the lower floor lets you buy more ribbons).
Shiny Pokémon. Sure, they aren't really any different from a normally-colored Pokémon,note from the third generation onward—Shinies in the second generation had very slight statistical differences, but in the end they meant little anyway but when you only have a 1 in 8192 chance of even seeing one, much less actually catching it, wouldn't you want to brag? Especially if it's a legendary?
The stars on your trainer card. You can usually earn up to four or five by accomplishing such things as beating the Elite Four, completing the dex, defeating the Brains at the Battle Frontier, etc. Serves slightly more of a purpose as other Trainers may look at your card and see how much you've actually done in-game judging by the stars you have.
Medals, in the generation V sequels, with collecting all 200+ of them taking more effort than the game's five trainer stars.
Counter Attack: The moves Counter and Mirror Coat will reflect double damage from physical and special moves, respectively. Metal Burst works with any damaging move, but only reflects 1.5 times the damage.
Bide forces the user to do nothing for two turns, but they then counterattack with double the damage they took over those two turns.
The noise that happens when your Pokémon take poison damage while walking, which is eliminated in Black and White.
Critical Existence Failure: Save for a few moves, all pokemon perform the same regardless of remaining HP. These few moves (Flail, Endeavor) perform better the closer a Mon is to zero health. Dropping to 1 HP to exploit these moves is a sought after goal for some competitive sets.
Critical Hit Class: Any Pokemon with Super Luck or Sniper abilities tends to have one of these. With moves like Slash, items like the Scope Lens, and other ways of increasing crit chances, these tend to make effective wall breakers, but lose to everything else since those high-critical-chance moves tend to be on somewhat weaker moves. The most common example is probably Absol, although its weakness in other areas makes it underpowered.
Critical Status Buff: Starting in Generation III, several Pokémon abilities like "Blaze", "Torrent", and "Overgrow", boost the power of matching elemental attacks when the user is low on HP. Certain Berries can also provide a one-time automatic status boost when the user is low on HP.
The Archen/Archeops family from Generation V also has the inverse: Their "Defeatist" ability creates a status penalty when they are low on HP.
Cry for the Devil: Giratina. For causing violence, it was sealed away (most likely by Arceus) to the Distortion World, a place where time and space do not exist and Giratina is the only life form within it and has remained there for many years.
Curb-Stomp Battle: A good understanding of the basics can lead to pretty much this for every battle you'll encounter (just knowing the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors can get you really far by itself). Go deeper into the metagame, and you're just being cruel to them.
The games will often provide an easy way for the player to sweep through a Gym or two. A great example is the Gold/Silver games and their remakes. The player can trade an easily found and captured Bellsprout for an Onix with a man in Violet City. Not only is an Onix pretty powerful this early in the game but it levels up faster due to it being a traded Pokemon (traded Pokemon receive 1.5 the experience it would usually gain). Even with a Defense-impairing nature, Onix tanks everything Falkner can do and wins the war of attrition should it come to that. Bugsy fairs even worse as his Scyther is 4x weak to Onix's Rock moves and resists all of Scyther's attacks. Even Whitney, who is known (feared) as That One Boss, can have issues with the Onix if it is around level 20.
Cute Giant: Many Pokémon probably qualify. Snorlax in particular looks like a big cuddly bear-cat thing.
And in Generation V, we get Gothitelle. Which also has a 25% chance of being male.
There's also Lilligant from Generation V, which are all female, but all of them are plants.
Damage Over Time: The series has many ways to inflict Damage Over Time beyond its standard "Poison" and "Burn" statuses, and many of these can even be combined:
Toxic is more powerful. It will cause increasing damage as the battle goes on. It's great if you don't have a Level Ball
Certain moves, such as Wrap, Fire Spin, and Whirlpool, will trap the target in the arena for 2 to 5 turns while doing a small amount of damage each turn.
If a Ghost-type uses "Curse", the opponent receives significant damage (1/4 max HP) per turn, the largest amount of damage in the system.
Hazardous weather like "Sandstorm" or "Hail" inflicts 1/16th damage on most elemental types.
Certain abilities can also cause damage (or, inversely, healing) over time during specific weather conditions: "Dry Skin" damages during intense sunlight, "Rain Dish" and "Ice Body" heal during heavy rain or hailstorms, respectively. "Solar Power" also causes damage during intense sunlight, but with the tradeoff of boosted attack power.
The Grass-type "Leech Seed" not only inflicts Damage Over Time on an opponent, it also restores the user's HP by the amount drained.
The "Sticky Barb" item inflicts damage-over-time on whichever Pokémon holds it, but can be passed from user to opponent by moves involving physical contact.
Sleeping Pokémon receive damage while subjected to "Nightmare" status, or similarly, the "Bad Dreams" effect of legendary Pokémon Darkrai.
The series have been subtly going down this path, with meaner sounding Pokédex entries and the motives for the Big Bad becoming more extreme. Even the Anime is doing this, with more seriousness and having the former Goldfish Poop Gang Team Rocket Take a Level in Badass.
Somewhat averted in the remakes of the latter in regard to Red. A freshly caught Mewtwo grants the player a good chance against Red by itself with only Snorlax being a challenge. Red was also toned down a bit despite his team being given an increase by 7 levels all around. His Snorlax doesn't even know Rest anymore (similarly, his Venusaur can no longer heal itself either) and the Espeon that presented great danger to any Fighting Pokemon has been replaced by a Lapras. While it does know Psychic, Machamps aren't going to be running in fear anymore.
Defensive Feint Trap: There are a few moves whose effectiveness relies on your opponent getting the first hit in, like Payback, Revenge, Counter, Avalanche, etc.
Defictionalization: The games, themselves. In Real Life, it is extremely possible to encounter others playing a Pokémon game, and (if conditions are right) battle them, just like that damn Bug Catcher kid outside Vermilion City. In fact, many events and tournaments have been held in real life using the game and connection equipment (with real badges and rewards) Not to mention that getting an actual Pokédex can save you a lot of trouble in the games.
Demonization: PETA went after Pokemon before the release of Black/White 2 by releasing a flash game which shows trainers as cruel slave owners and all Pokemon as severely mistreated slaves. The organization has been quiet after many responses portrayed PETA as an example of Cowboy Bebop At His Computer, with a popular response to this◊ in-game image of PETA's flash game being this◊ image of the anime where Ash intends to take the full brunt of a Spearow flock's assault to save Pikachu.
Many moves have subtle side effects depending on the situation. Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick causing the Pokémon to keep going and receive crash damage if it misses, Stomp and Steamroller dealing extra damage if the opponent is using Minimize, Earthquake and Magnitude doing double damage if the enemy Pokémon is underground, and Rollout and Ice Ball being stronger if the user also used Defense Curl the turn before are just a few examples.
In Black and White, the TMs are no longer single-use items. When a Pokémon forgets a move in order to learn from a TM, the move learned with a TM takes on the current PP of the move replaced by the new move. This is to prevent repeated usage of TMs for the purpose of PP restoration.
The already useless move Splash (called Hop in Japan) can't be used while the move Gravity is in effect.
Cedric Juniper says that you met a Klink, and that Pokémon is unavoidable due to being used by N. However, if one cheats to avoid N, he instead says You haven't seen a Klink yet.
There are no trainers in game that own a Ditto, due to transform copying the opponent's moves' PP. This is to avoid the situation of the player having nothing but a Ditto and being forced to either restart from the last save or getting trapped in an infinite loop.
The games invariably spike in difficulty between the eighth gym leader (~Lv. 43) and the first Elite 4 member (~Lv. 54), leading to a bit of Level Grinding to get your mons up to a comparable level. This is a sort-of positive trope; people somewhat enjoy the challenge of the Elite Four.
And that's the first Elite Four member. In most games, expect the Elite Four and Champion levels to top out at 60 if not higher. In the Gold and Silver remakes, repeated visits to the Elite Four allow you to face Pokémon that start out at that level and go up to 75. Massive experience for all, though!
Generation IV was merciless with its difficulty spikes. The bigger one is the noticeable level spike between Blue (~Lv. 57) and Red (~Lv. 76 (GSC)/84 (HGSS)) in the Johto games, a holdover from Gen II. The more subtle one was the spike between Lucian and Cynthia; while the change in level is relatively graceful, the change in skill is anything but. One can quite easily coast through Lucian, but be pulverized by Cynthia's Garchomp alone (champion-level AI, psuedo-uber, three moves with 150 power, perfect IVs, and optimized EVs; the only way the devs could've made it harder is by giving it a Yache Berry.)
In Gen V, Ghetsis, the Team Plasma boss, is ridiculously difficult compared to the Elite Four, which have levels in the high 40's. Ghetsis has level 52's, and his Hydreigon (the 3-headed dragon) is 54.
And the first new trainers you can challenge in the post-game have their Pokémon's level around 64. That's ten levels higher than Ghetsis, and that's the common trainers.
After that is Cynthia, who can be fought in Undella Town. Like the Elite Four on your second visit, hers are around level 75. Which is understandable, since she's the Sinnoh Champion.
Disappeared Dad: With the exception of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, this is played straight for the player character in every single one of the games. All of them start out at their mother's house, but their father is inexplicably absent, and nothing is ever mentioned of his existence. It's generally implied that he is a Pokémon trainer who is off on his own adventures, but needless to say, the player never meets him, or hears anything from him.
Also played straight with Ash in the anime. His father was passively mentioned in the second episode; apparently he's a Trainer who's off on some adventure of his own, but he's never made an appearance and hasn't been mentioned since.
The player's father is also mentioned by Tower Tycoon Palmer in Diamond, Pearl or Platinum if they beat his team of legendaries.
Green Oak, your rival in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow/FireRed/LeafGreen, outside of Japan was named "Blue" due to Green being released as Blue outside of Japan along with Red, both of which were changed a bit. He ended up having Green as a default name in FireRed in the third gen to due to FireRed/LeafGreen being released without title changes, but ended up still being referred to as to "Blue" in HeartGold/SoulSilver as in the localizations of the games they are remakes of, even though he didn't have Blue as a default name in Generation III. Despite the fact he's the Viridian Gym leader and has a green carpet. Oh, and in the Japanese version, it's called the Green Badge.
Many Pokémon. Some do keep their Japaneses names, though.
The Dowsing Machine, which helps find hidden items, was changed to Itemfinder in Generations I through III's English translations, despite the name already being in English in the Japanese version. Generation IV and on switched to using the Japanese name in the English translations.
Dummied Out: Many examples, for example, the Bird-type, a non-glitched Trainer battle with Professor Oak, 39 Pokémon, ???-type Arceus (said type being removed in Black and White due to Curse being made Ghost-type), etc... more on that page.
Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Wild Pokémon universally are just a nuisance once you've caught your fill of them, and trainers out in the field (aside from the Ace Trainers and a few other classes) are probably underlevelled for your team and only have two or three Pokémon anyway. The Gym Leaders and Team Leaders, however, will stamp you into the ground unless you know precisely what you're up against and come prepared with an appropriate team and plenty of healing items. Legendaries can also put up a reasonable fight with a level advantage.
Most Pokémon are capable of expelling ridiculous quantities of their elements from their bodies. One episode of the anime had Ash's Squirtle fill up a whole truck with water using only Water Gun. In the games, a Pokédex entry mentions that Blastoise (about the size of a van) could fill an Olympic swimming pool. How did so much water end up inside the Mons? Nobody knows. Then again, that creature the size of a van fits in a ball the size of a clenched fist (which in the anime can become even smaller).
Not so much in the Pokémon Special manga. Almost at the end of the third arc, the day is saved because Blue's Blastoise had run out of water and Red filled it with flammable water from a mystical healing spring.
There's also the Shadow type in XD and Colosseum, but it doesn't exist in the other games. There's only one move in Colosseum, which is neutral against all types. XD provides several, which are super effective against all types...except Shadow.
Lampshaded in Pokémon Black and White. Early in the game, there is a young girl that will ask you to play "Pokémon Rock Paper Scissors" if you speak to her.
Elite Mook: The Ace Trainers have well-balanced teams with good movesets and levels comparable to yours, and probably have a team of six or five compared to most trainers which have around three. Some other games have other classes in this role as well.
Emergency Weapon: If a Pokémon is ordered to attack but is unable to actually execute any move (usually due to running out of PP for moves), it will resort to a hidden move called "Struggle", which inflicts moderate damage at the cost of sustaining recoil damage in the process.
Encounter Bait: The move Sweet Scent, the items Honey and White Flute, the Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon March", and the Illuminate ability all attract Pokémon or increase the chances of Random Encounters. Using the Running Shoes or the Bicycle will also do the same in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Encounter Repellant: Likewise, we have Repel which repels all Pokémon with lower levels than your party leader. The Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon Lullaby", and the abilities Intimidate and Stench decrease the rate of encounter.
The move Teleport and the items Poké Doll and Fluffy Tail (when used in battle) and Smoke Ball (when held in battle).
Pokémon with the "Run Away" ability can escape from any wild Pokémon, guaranteed, just by using the normal "Run" command.
The "Roar" and "Whirlwind" moves are inversions: they end wild Pokémon battles by forcing the opponent away, rather than the user, therefore working in situations where the user is blocked from escaping.
Excuse Plot: For many players, the real point of the game is to collect, train, and breed a team of Pokémon for the purposes of competing against other owners of the game who do the same thing. With the Nintendo DS having a wireless online connection, it has made finding opponents much easier.
The Exp. All (from Red, Blue, and Yellow only) and Exp. Share divides experience gained from battle among your party or a certain Pokémon when held respectively, and Lucky Egg, which doubles the experience gained in battle, and rarely held by Chansey (and given to you free mid-way in Black and White).
The Macho Brace, Pokérus, Power Weight, Power Bracer, Power Belt, Power Lens, Power Band, and Power Anklet affect Effort Value gains after battle, with the first 2 doubling all, and the rest give you a bonus 4 points of a particular Effort Value. Pokérus stacks with all the rest (With Macho Brace you get 4x effort values, and with the "Power" items you get a bonus of 8 plus double of whatever the normal yield for your victory is.)
The Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato Berries decrease Effort Values of a particular stat.
Explosive Breeder: This can happen with certain combinations of Pokémon and a little luck.
Expy: Many of the Pokémon in each new generation are Expies of those from previous generations. More information on the individual game pages.
Fannage: Pokémon is a multi-billion dollar franchise and the second best-selling video game series. Ever. Compare the size of this page to other series' pages. Then realize this is the smallest we could manage to get this page after splitting it up into over thirty individual pages for each branch of this thing.
There are a wide variety of berries since their introduction in Generation II. Since Generation III, they have Punny Names like Pokémon. The berries are used as items during battle and ingredients in making Pokéblocks and Poffins.
Also, obviously, some Grass-type Pokémon are based on fruits and vegetables (such as Oddish).
Despite being set in very modern times, there are actually no guns in the games. When you consider that mankind is capable of taming monsters who can breathe fire, shoot electricity, and shoot a beam of ice, amongst other things. Who needs gunpowder when you can get a Pokémon to do it? Even Ghetsis in Generation V thought of this!
The move Bullet Seed (Seed Machine Gun in Japan) is probably the closest equivalent to guns you'll find in Pokémon, outside of the banned episode of the anime.
Fantasy Pantheon: More in the anime than the games, the Legendary Pokémon are referred to as or given the attributes of gods.
Feed It With Fire: A handful of abilities, starting in the third generation. Volt Absorb and Water Absorb absorb Electric or Water attacks as HP, Flash Fire absorbs Fire attacks to power up the user's attacks, and so on.
Generation V adds a couple of items, like the Absorb Bulb and Cell Battery, that provide a one-use-only version of the same effect.
Fire, Ice and Electric-types frequently, and fittingly for this trope, have cross counterpart moves with the same power, accuracy, and effect, differing only in type.note Ice-type versions will usually have less PP, since Freeze status is far more dangerous than Burn or Paralysis, but the stats are otherwise identical.
Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt: 95-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect (Burn, Freeze, and Paralysis respectively).
Ember, Powder Snow, Thundershock: 40-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect.
Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Thunder Fang: 65-power Physical moves with 95% accuracy, a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect, and a separate 10% chance of making the opponent flinch.
Fire Blast, Blizzard, Thunder: These moves actually have pretty widely-varying stats, but the three are usually grouped together as high-power, low-accuracy versions of Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt.
Tri-Attack: A solid, solitary Normal-type move, but which features a blast of fire, ice and lightning all at once, and which has a chance of randomly Burning, Freezing, or Paralyzing the target.
Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos: The original Legendary Trio.
Magmar, Jynx, and Electabuzz: A set of humanoids who are very hard to get in the first set of games; they were also the only ones in that generation to learn the Elemental Punches noted above, barring Hitmonchan, who learns all three.
All three also eventually got baby forms in Generation II, with only Jynx not getting a third evolution in Gen IV.
Entei, Suicune, Raikou: The second generation's Legendary Trio (Suicune is actually a Water-type, but naturally learns more Ice-type moves and is thematicaly connected to the icy North Wind).
Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon: In Generation I, now with Glaceon in Gen IV.
Reshiram, Kyurem, Zekrom: The Yin and Yang Pokémon, with Kyurem representing Wuji, or the absence of Yin and Yang(ie: "nothingness").
Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza: Pokémon Pinball Ruby and Sapphire played Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza this way, even though its a bit of a stretch in the main series, where they're more definitively Earth, Water and Air.
First Name Basis: Last names definitely exist in the Pokémon Verse, but extremely few are actually known aside from those of the professors and their relatives (e.g. Daisy Oak and Cedric Juniper), as well as the Stone family from Generation III, with Steven Stone being among the few characters with both a first and last name that isn't related to a professor.
Fishing Minigame: While every game has featured fishing rods, it's not actually a minigame so much as an alternate method to encounter wild Pokémon.
Flavor Text: For every Pokémon a player captures in the wild, their Pokédex adds one or two sentences of in-universe description for their species. Later games add such details as the creature's footprint (if applicable), a Sound Test ability to play the creature's vocal cry, a size/weight comparison to the player character, and a comparison of form or gender differences between the species's different members (where applicable). The species's weight actually does have some gameplay consequences, but those are very few and far between. Additionally, since Generation IV, each Pokémon's status screen includes text documenting when and where it was caught, and a one-sentence remark about the individual creature's personality.
Foe Yay: In-universe; Zangoose and Seviper, despite being eternal rivals, are in the same Egg group.
Addtionally, in certain dark grasses in Unova, they will attack you together.
Fog Feet: Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus. At least until they shift to their Therian Formes.
Follow the Leader: In-series. Quite a few adaptations take elements from other adaptations which do not exist in the games, such as Poké Balls being see-through and the protagonists starting at age ten (the only protagonists with a confirmed age so far are Red and Leaf, who are eleven).
Foreshadowing: Kyurem's Pokédex entry inis "It can produce ultracold air. Its body is frozen.". How Ice Burn apparently works? "On the second turn, an ultracold, freezing wind surrounds the target. This may leave the target with a burn.". From what game it comes? White. Which form from what game got Ice Burn? White Kyurem from White2.
Fossil Revival: How you obtain some Pokémon from fossils. Almost every generation has a place where you can do this.
Four is Death: You can see the Elite Four like this (they're even the Shitenno in the Japanese version) but better fits are Team Rocket and Team Galactic, which have four executive officers each (the former in HGSS, the latter in Platinum, both of which are part of the forth generation of Pokémon games).
Fragile Speedster: Sweepers are usually this, but a prime example is Ninjask, who is completely built around Speed, yet falls behind in actual fighting. It's usually used to Baton Pass its Speed buffs to other sweepers.
Free-Range Children: The protagonists are probably barely teenagers, yet they run about the world with little concern from anyone. Of course, they're bringing bodyguards: up to 6 reality-warping, enslaved monsters, most of whom who are bound to be loyal forever.
There is a Preschooler who has a level 59 Scyther in Black/White 2. This kid could have stopped the Radio Tower takeover situation in Goldenrod by himself.
I Know You Know I Know: My Giratina should use Thunderbolt on your Gyarados, but you know I'll do that, so you'll switch to Electivire and my Giratina should use Earth Power, but you know I'll realize that and keep Gyarados in, so my Giratina should use Thunderbolt, but...
Pokédex entries. For example: according to the Pokédex, all Gyarados are on the verge of murdering something, all Cubone are depressed due to dead mothers, and all Piplup have huge, huge egos. They can all have natures that contradict these entries. Then again, that could just mean your Gyarados is jolly by Gyarados standards.
A sizable portion of the Pokédex's entries point out abilities and attributes of several Mons that are never displayed during gameplay. For example, Dragonair's entry in Generation I states that it is capable of controlling the weather. Climate control moves weren't introduced until Generation II and still Dragonair doesn't learn any without TM's.
Like Houndoom. The burn from the flame it spews is supposed to hurt forever, but there is no evidence of this in game. Maybe it's a in-universe myth?
Gender Bender: Fans have discovered that Azurill has a 3-to-1 female/male ratio, but its evolution, Marill, has a 50-50 gender ratio. Due to the way the game determines gender, this makes 1 of every 3 female Azurill become male upon evolving into Marill.
On the human side, there's a "female" NPC in Iccirus City's Entralink counterpart that used to be a guy until being changed by going into the Entralink.
Genetic Memory: Used and averted. Newly hatched Pokémon may know their father's TM's and HMs as well as level up moves known by both parents, but clones appear to be functionally identical to new-borns.
Geodesic Cast: Some groups of Pokémon tend to repeat with each new generation. Exceptions when they are due:
A starter trio made of statistically above-average Pokémon of the Grass, Fire, and Water types. They tend to evolve at levels 14-18 and 30-36. Their ability provides a boost to moves of their type when HP is low.
Vendor TrashCom Mons, usually of the Normal type, always a small bird and a small mammal. A second bird is optional.
A cute Electric rodent. Fans have dubbed these "Pikaclones".
A pair of Rock type Pokémon obtainable by reviving them from a fossil.
A Pokémon whose final form's stats and powers rival legendaries. It takes long to train it, and it evolves at the highest levels of its generation. Occasionally there are two of these.
At least one trio of legendary Pokémon with base stats totaling 580, a running theme, and no competitive usage restrictions.
A pair or trio of very strong legendaries, representing each version of the main games.
A cute little event-only legendary, with a value of 100 on each base stat.
Geo Effects: There are several effects to change the weather, and each weather type will boost certain moves or Pokémon types while hindering others. There's even one Pokémon whose ability is geared towards adapting to each of these effects, and others geared towards preventing them.
The move Secret Power gains bonuses according to the battle environment: fight on the sea and it occasionally lowers attack, fight in a cave and it may cause flinching, and so on. note An interesting note is that if one uses the move on ice or snow in Generation IV, the move gets the highest chance of causing freezing in the entire game, with a whopping 30% chance; the other moves that can do so only have a 10% or less chance.
Glass Cannon: While many Pokémon can be built into one, some species are more prone to working in this fashion. Deoxys-Attack is by far the best example: it has sky-high attack stats and Speed, but the worst Defense of any Pokémon in the game. It'll faint to just about any attack with moderate power! (In fact, it's been known to OHKO itself while confused!!!) There's several others as well, on a slightly lesser scale.
Hamster Wheel Power: A power station in the anime gets its electricity from some Pikachu running on a horizontal wheel around a Tesla coil.
Hello, Insert Name Here: In all of the games, the player has to name the main character as well as his/her rival (except for the Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Black, and White versions). Hilarity Ensues.note And by "hilarity", we mean "vulgarity".
Heroic Albino: The Ralts line, despite having green hair, actually all have pale, white skin, and large red eyes (Ralts' are less obvious because its eyes are constantly covered by its hair).
Heroic BSOD: The player character if he/she loses all his/her Pokémon. Well, "black-out" ("white-out" in Generations II and III), but the trope is still valid.
At least in HeartGold and SoulSilver, this includes dropping money in panic.
FireRed and LeafGreen as well.
Rather ironically, in at least half of the games the screen will Fade to White when the player has been stated to "black out". The reverse, with the screen fading to black when the player "whites out" is also commonplace.
Heroic Sacrifice: When you send out one of your last Pokémon knowing it won't be able to take the attack the opponent dishes out next turn, but the extra turn will give you time to use a Potion/Revive on your best team member.
Hybrid Power: A variant in the games via Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Breeding two mons together produces a mon of the females' species, that will learn some of the male's moves. So in theory the new mon might have some more powerful moves (sometimes at level 5, meaning just-hatched) without any drawbacks except that hatching it takes longer.
An Ice Person: Lorelei of the Kanto Elite Four, Pryce of the Johto Gym Leaders, Glacia of the Hoenn Elite Four, Candice of the Sinnoh Gym Leaders, and Brycen of the Unova Gym Leaders. Interesting to note that Candice is actually quite Hot Blooded.
Incompetence, Inc.: Clay definitely qualifies for his poor handling of Team Plasma. He captured them and then proceeded to lose them when the bridge to Driftveil was lowered, which was a time span of just a few seconds. This is so important to Clay that he suspends his Gym activities by outright refusing the player's challenge, stating the player will only get the opportunity if the Plasma members are recaptured. After the player rounds the Plasma goons up for him, Clay loses the captured members again when Ghetsis gathers his captured subordinates right in front of Clay's own Gym without any fighting.
Infinity–1 Sword: The legendary trios and "pseudo-legendaries" such as Dragonite and Garchomp fit this bill in some generations. They're not as powerful as the "main" legendaries, but you can obtain them before entering the leagues and/or encountering the main legendaries.
Injured Vulnerability: Pokémon are much easier to catch when they're weakened. Lowering their health and inflicting them with status effects make the chances of successfully capturing them much higher.
When it comes to attacks, there's the move Brine which deals extra damage when the opponent has less than half their HP left. The Poison-type move Venoshock does double damage if the target is currently poisoned, while the Ghost-type move Hex does double damage if the target has any status ailment.
Fighting type move Wake-Up-Slap does double damage if the opponent is asleep, and Normal type move Smellingsalt does double damage if the opponent is paralyzed. However, both of these moves also cure that Pokemon with it when used.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Several, but the most egregious example would have to be the one-way ledges. Yeah, the ones that appear to be half the player character's height but cannot be climbed, regardless of whether or not one's Pokémon know Rock Climb, Fly, or any other field move that would logically allow one to overcome such an obstacle.
Intercontinuity Crossover: "Pokémon Double Trouble", an Orange Islands episode of the anime, features the official debut of double battles, a whopping THREE YEARS before Ruby and Sapphire Versions! (Double battles unofficially debuted in "Ash Catches a Pokémon", where Team Rocket conducted them illegally.) Likewise, the manga series featured double battles that predated Ruby and Sapphire.
The first Pokemon movie featured (as a Desperation Attack) a nameless trainer sending out all three of his remaining Pokemon in a battle against Ash at once. Triple Battles wouldn't exist in-game for another 12 years.
An Interior Designer Is You: Your room is somewhat customizable in G/S/C; in R/S/E and D/P/P, you get a much more advanced "Secret Base" to decorate. In Platinum, you receive a rather large villafor free when you enter the Resort Area. You buy the furniture you want, but you can't put it where you want.
Invulnerable Attack: Moves like Fly and Dig involve the player's Pokémon moving itself out of the opponent's range for one turn, making them invulnerable to most attacks. Later generations introduced a handful of moves that can strike the Pokémon during this phase, and some even inflict double damage (e.g. Earthquake against Dig, Surf against Dive, Gust against Fly). Shadow Force is a newer and straighter example of the trope, but is indirectly banned within the game's specialized battle-scenario environmentsnote as the only Pokémon who can use it are themselves banned.
Sky Drop, a two-turn attack introduced in Black & White, takes it a step further by preventing the opponent from moving until this attack is finished. It has been banned in most competitive settings.
And Cyrus's case is somewhat debatable; see the Pokémon Nightmare Fuel section for details. There's also the fact that, at least in Platinum, his actions are made out to be the result of his terrible childhood and implied to be self-destructive as well.
Leitmotif: In all games, a different tune plays in each city, changing for battles, Poké Marts, Pokémon Centers, and even while Surfing. Some cities recycle tunes, though (RBY and GSC being the worst offenders due to lack of data storage space).
There are also several different songs that play when you meet trainers. In Gen IV and V, they're surprisingly long.
In the Black and White versions, every city finally has its own unique music.
Wobbuffet. Despite its limited moveset and comical appearance (and actually being partially based on a Japanese comedian), it has high HP reserves and knows how to Counter Attack (Counter and Mirror Coat return double the damage inflicted against the user). From the third generation onwards, its baby version Wynaut learns Encore, which can force the opponent to repeat one attack multiple times (making them easier to counter), and comes with an ability that prevents the opponent from switching out. Ghost- or Dark- type Pokémon can take advantage of their elemental immunity to Counter and Mirror Coat (respectively), but other types are on their own.
Early in the games, you get an Old Rod. Most first-timers are excited about fishing for Pokémon, but are disappointed to see that the Old Rod yields little more than Magikarp◊, which are one of the weakest species in the game. Most first-timers don't have the patience to level one up until the Magikarp Power kicks in (at Level 20).
In the fifth generation, most Pokémon have a different ability if you catch them through the Dream World, and some of these abilities make them significantly more useful. The most notable would have to be Dream World Ditto receiving the ability Impostor, which causes it to Transform automatically upon switching in. A small change, but it makes it potentially the best revenge killer in the game.
With the right set up and some luck, even Rattata and Magikarp can become this.
Let's Get Dangerous: Looker in Platinum is almost totally useless until the very end of the game, at which point he successfully ambushes one of the remaining big bads.
Lie to the Beholder: The fifth-generation species Zorua (and its evolved form, Zoroark) feature an ability called Illusion, which makes it appear as a different Pokémon until hit by an opponent's attack in battle. This means that, since it's Dark-type, a Psychic-type attack won't dispel the illusion. Of course, a human opponent will get a little suspicious after the following exchange: "Mewtwo used Psychic!" "It doesn't affect Emboar..." (Emboar should be weak to Psychic-type attacks.)
Living Gasbag: Drifloon and Drifblim are living floating balloons, and despite having a largely nonthreatening appearance, the former are known to abduct children. Drifblim is mostly peaceful, however. The Jigglypuff line is a subversion; though gasbags, they don't fly.
There's currently 649 different species of Pokémon, although only a handful serve plot-related functions in each game.
Not to mention the 46 Gym Leaders in the games, the 19 Elite Four members, six Champions (including some overlap between the three in Generations I through III), the countless NPC classes, the player characters...
Lost Forever: The event-only Pokémon, which is especially infuriating as there is nothing you can do ever to get them back - unlike most examples of the trope, you can't even restart your game for them.
For a while, the GTS had some of the event Pokémon on it, but later event Pokémon have been contained a special Poké Ball and have had Ribbons applied to them that prevent them from being traded, respectively being the Cherish Ball, the Classic Ribbon, and the Premier Ribbon (Mew-exclusive).
If you release a Pokémon, you cannot get it back, even if it is a one-time-only legendary Pokémon. Minor exceptions include Pokémon that know certain HM moves (to prevent players from becoming stuck in certain areas), Pokémon with high happiness levels, and whenever the Pokémon being released is the only Pokémon in the player's current party.
The Ultra Ball is called a "Hyper Ball" in the Japanese version, hence why it has an H on it.
Additionally, the Pokémon Contests ranks of Generation III were originally based off of the Japanese names of Generation I's basic Poké Balls, excluding the Safari Ball: Normal ("Monster"), Super, Hyper, and Master. The English naming scheme Pokémon Contest ranks did not catch this, and the original Japanese terms were used instead. Generation IV's Super Contests rectify this, with the "Hyper" rank getting properly translated to "Ultra" rank, referencing the Hyper Ball's English renaming of "Ultra Ball", while "Super" rank is translated to "Great" rank, referencing Super Ball being a Japanese name of Great Ball.
The Dark type doesn't actually mean dark. It is called "evil type" in Japan. Because of this, lots of fans see the dark type as actual darkness rather than using dirty tricks to win and wonder why there isn't a "light" type yet.
Luck-Based Mission: Capturing wild Pokémon, especially legendaries. (Knocking them out is fairly easy; it's catching them alive that takes forever.)
To explain this, each Pokémon species has a specific "catch rate" that affects the probability of snagging it with a given Poké Ball. Com Mons have a base rate of 100%, making them easy to catch, while most legendaries have a base catch rate of about 1%. There are a variety of modifiers, but even with all the modifiers in your favor, the chances of catching a legendary are still less than 10% per throw. Even when you decide to calculate the odds, it can get downright frustrating.
The Safari Zone cranks this Up to Eleven, with every Pokémon encountered willing to run away at the drop of a hat, and having your strategic options limited to either throwing rocks, or throwing bait *
A thrown rock doubles catch rate, as well as doubling flee rate. Throwing bait halves catch rate, but quarters flee rate. Its better to just throw Safari Balls and ignore these entirely. While all three options even out to the same chances in the long run, most Safari mons usually flee between 3 and 5 turns in, so you need every catch attempt you have.
Many of the Battle Frontier challenges, particularly the Battle Pike (where the whole purpose is to test the player's luck) and the Battle Palace (where Pokémon fight on their own, without commands from their Trainers). The Battle Factories of Hoenn and Sinnoh/Johto are also notable, as the selection of Pokémon offered to the player at the start of each challenge is randomized each time.
Factory Head Nolandnote Presides over the aforementioned Battle Factory of Hoenn, Factory Head Thortonnote Presides over the aforementioned Battle Factory of Sinnoh, and Hall Matron Argenta all have randomized party Pokémon each time they are challenged, meaning that essentially any Pokémon (other than those*
that are not admissible to the Battle Frontier, and excluding species that debut in subsequent generations) could appear as an opponent Pokémon. So not only is the player's team subject to luck, the opposing teams (and the difficulty of every battle with the aforementioned Frontier Brains) are as well.
Breeding for IVs is a marathon against appalling odds, especially if you are shooting for the maximum IVs like the average Smogon pug. Your best shot at breeding a mon with 2 max IVs to match your EV spread will range from 1 out of 15 eggs (with two parents that already have max IVs on the desired stats) upwards to one out of several thousand eggs. Going for 31 IVs across the board will require raising two parents with 5 maxed IVs, which in turn require 4 grandparents with 4 maxed IVs, etc. Otherwise your chances of breeding a perfect mon with two random mons are about one in a couple thousand billion. Not as unlikely as winning the Mega Millions jackpot 3 times during your lifetime, but still, you have better chances of finding your dream Mon on the wild.
Played straight in the anime, but subverted here. Because the Revival Herb, a purchasable item from that herbal shop where they make bitter-tasting medicine, is the Herbal Expy of a Max Revive, which can't be found in stores. Do you mind your Pokémon thinking of you as a Jerkass?
Mass breeding/catching and releasing Pokémon to get good nature-IV combos is another example of this trope. Competitive players do this a lot, especially since some battles can be decided by one or two stat points.
Meaningful Name: The majority of the gym leaders in the games have them. Just guess which elements these guys specialize in: Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Falkner, Bugsy, Whitney, Pryce, Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, the list goes on.
Mechanically Unusual Class: In much of competitive play, many Pokemon that focus on the move Baton Pass have a tendency to be this, often using substitute for endurance purposes and status buffs in hopes of lasting long enough to pass the status buffs on to the next Pokemon. Pokemon such given these movesets are often passed up outside competitive play, as it's faster and easier to just mow through the in-game opponents with high-leveled Pokemon.
Metagame: You should be able to get a basic idea just by reading this page.
Metamorphosis Monster: Quite a few Pokémon do this while evolving. The most obvious example is Magikarp to Gyarados (small karp to sea serpent), but there are others, such as Vibrava to Flygon (lacewing to dragon) and Feebas to Milotic (fish to elegant-looking sea serpent).
Many of these Pokémon's real-life counterparts undergo a similar transformation. Flygon, for example, is based off of an adult antlion, so it's only natural that it's base form, Trapinch, would look so different.
Many Pokémon fit under this category on either the physical and special sides of the spectrum. The most common physical Glaciers are usually Rock/Ground/Steel types and bulkier Fighting types, while quite a few special-based Glaciers are usually bulkier Psychics or Normals. There are a lot of Water and Steel types that are bulky on both ends, leading to the term "bulky Water" and Steel's reputation as one of the best defensive types in the game. Of course, Uber-level legendaries are often classified as such at least partially because of their incredible defenses on both sides.
The legendary Pokémon Regice is a literal glacier. It's a very large chunk of sentient ice that's vaguely human-shaped.
Miss Conception: Somehow the couple running the day care don't know where the eggs keep coming from.
Money for Nothing: Especially in the later games, you can make tens of thousands of dollars just fighting your stock trainers and being conservative with your cash. The Generation V games added even moreVendor Trash items with no purpose but to be sold for cash, and added special "item maniac" character who will pay double the price for particular items. The Abyssal Ruins alone have over a million dollars worth of loot in them. The only items you need to buy regularly though are vitamins, which are a bit pricey at 9,800 dollars, but you'll still have plenty of cash to buy them in bulk.
The Amulet Coin and Luck Incense items double the amount of money gained from defeating Trainers.
The move Pay Day also grants Trainers an additional amount of money each time it is used, with the awarded amount of coins being based off of the level of the Pokémon using the move. During Generations 1 and 2, the amount of money scattered was two times the user's level. From Generation 3 onwards, the multiplier was increased, so that the money received per use is now five times the user's level.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, there is a glitch where the wrong amount of money will be displayed if the Amulet Coin is held when Pay Day is used, leaving the impression that the Amulet Coin does not affect Pay Day. However, if the player checks his/her Trainer Card, it will be discovered that the money earned from Pay Day has correctly been doubled and added to the player's total savings. This error was fixed in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions, as well as all subsequent games.
Pass Powers, introduced in Generation V, include increasing the reward money from winning Trainer battles.
Moon Logic Puzzle: Some of the Gym puzzles, and the Trick House in the third generation.
Moral Dissonance: In Pokemon Colosseum, a fair amount of Shadow Pokémon are in the posession of ordinary Trainers who don't know what's wrong with their Pokémon. After you snag them, you never explain to them why you did so. While it's understandable for Wes, it's downright bizarre for Rui (and also Michael, from the sequel).
Multiple Demographic Appeal: One of the best examples out there. The various Mons appeal to Japan and the Western world, as well as girls and boys. The gameplay appeals to both casual gamers who play simple games and hardcore, competitive gamers who try to understand deeper strategies used to take down the opponent.
Multiple Head Case: Not many Pokémon have multiple heads, but some of those that do fall under this. Dodrio, Zweilous, and Exeggutor are all examples (though Exeggutor's heads don't argue between themselves).
Multiple Reference Pun: In Generation I, Tri Attack fired a triangle-shaped projectile. In Gen II it became a Fire, Ice, Lightning tri-elemental attack that could burn, paralyze and freeze. In Gen III and beyond, it now creates a triangular field of elemental energy. And for a third pun, aside from Genesect and the Porygon line, the only Pokémon to learn it now are Dugtrio, Magneton, Doduo, Dodrio, and Hydreigon — namely, Pokémon with three heads.
Multiple Tailed Beast: Many species have multiple tails, such as Vulpix (six), Ninetales (obvious), and Tauros (three). Espeon has a forked tail with two tips, as do Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Buizel and Floatzel have two (they even use them as propellers), as well as Ambipom and Electivire. There are also some ambiguous cases, such as Grovyle (which has branching fern leaves for a tail) and Suicune (which has two ribbons for a tail).
My Nayme Is: Names like "Feraligatr", "Victreebel", and "Cofagrigus" were likely artificially shortened from their natural forms ("Feraligator", "Victreebell", and "Cophagrigus") due to a 10-character limit on names in the games. However, as a result, all official media goes by the constrained names instead of dismissing the shortening as a trick of the game device.
Mythology Gag: Some recurring gameplay elements that exist for no particular reason - a Bug-type Pokémon that evolves at a low level, a three-stage Normal/Flying bird Pokémon in starting locations, etc.
Blue/Gary Oak's sister. Twice. In the games, she's named Daisy, which confuses people familiar with the anime where one of Misty's sisters is also named Daisy. In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, she's named May, which confuses people who follow the anime and games even more, as that's the name of Ash's companion in Hoenn and the female character in RSE.
In between the strengthening of the types that were already strong against it, the decreased proliferation of the types that are weak against it, and the ease of finding Dark-type moves, the formerly game-breaking Psychic type is now much more balanced.
Up through Generation IV, Selfdestruct and Explosion actually inflicted double their stated attack power because they secretly reduced the opponent's Defense by half. This has been changed as of Gen V, likely due in part to the introduction of Triple Battles, where this could be extremely centralizing, even more so than it already was in Double Battles.
Meet Blaziken, the giant kickboxing fire chicken. Or Garchomp, the dragon jet-plane Land Shark. Or Tropius, the flying dinosaur with palm-leaf wings and bananas growing from its chin. Or Flygon, the antlion dragon. Yup.
Dewott is a samurai otter that evolves into a samurai sea lion.
No Biological Sex: Most Legendary Pokémon and a couple regularly found Pokémon. Most genderless Pokémon seem to be quite powerful, however. And sometimes fan-viewed gender on Pokémon are accepted by the fandom at large to be correct (Meloetta is female, Mewtwo is male, etc.).
No Fair Cheating: Abusing in-game glitches can cause your game to crash or data to get corrupted; using a Game Shark or Action Replay may lock your DS cartridge out from official Nintendo-sanctioned tournaments (Though not everyone cares about this one), and also carries the potential to seriously screw with the data, preventing whole features from being accessed. That said, it is not likely to happen if you know what you are doing.
No Pronunciation Guide: The main series of handheld games isn't voiced, so you generally have to wait until a Pokémon appears in the anime to get the official pronunciation (usually intuitive enough, but not always — Arceus goes against the usual conventions for when a C should be soft and when it should be hard, and logically, Blastoise should be pronounced "blastus"note blast, tortoise and not "blastoyse", though that one depends on your accent). Then there are the console games (the Pokémon Stadium series, etc.), which... don't always follow the official pronunciations faithfully.
Foresight and Odor Sleuth enable Normal- and Fighting-type attacks to strike Ghosts, which are normally immune to those elements. Likewise, Miracle Eye enables Psychic moves to hit Dark types, and Gravity (temporarily) allows Ground attacks to strike Flying types.
The Mold Breaker ability allows attacks to bypass abilities (like Wonder Guard) that would otherwise prevent an attack from inflicting damage (though it cannot override elemental immunities, such as Electric versus Ground).
Unaware makes a Pokémon's attacks ignore changes to the opponent's Defense, Special Defense, or evasiveness.
It also means you ignore changes to the opponent's Attack, Special Attack, and Accuracy. Swords Dance isn't going to be doing your opponent much good against your Bibarel.
There's also Gastro Acid, a move that disables the opposing Pokémon's ability.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: Pokémon who have the ability appropriately called "Oblivious" are immune to the infatuation status effect and other effects that only work on Pokémon of the opposite gender.
Arguably the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker. Each generation of the series comes in at least two "versions", with certain Pokémon exclusive to a particular version. Trading between versions is the only way to truly catch them all.
Arguably inverted in Gold and Silver and their remakes: although the trope remains valid, these games also offer the ability to go to a whole new region with new Gym Leaders and a rematch of the Elite Four after beating the main game. It's true that the Kanto portion is abbreviated compared to Johto, but still, it almost feels like a separate game.
One Gender Race: Several species of Pokémon are exclusively male or exclusively female, although some (like the Nidoran, or Volbeat/Illumise) are considered different genders of the same species, officially or otherwise.
One Head Taller: Not for romantic reasons. However, measuring a person's height by their head is a way of telling their age in all medias. Children usually are 5 heads tall, teens six, and adults seven.
Palette Swap: Quite literally, for shiny Pokémon. They are no more or less effective than their normal counterparts (except Generation II, where they have mid range stats all around), but their rarity (a 1 in 8192 chance of being encountered) make them sought-after, even if they're Com Mons.
Padded Sumo Gameplay: Pretty easy to do with two stall-heavy Mons, or if the battle has been going on for a while and Mons only have Struggle as their move left. Reaches ridiculous levels in Wobbuffet vs. Wobbuffet battles, where due to a lack of actual attacks beyond counterattacks means that they can only hit with Struggle, and their high defence means that winning with that will take a long, long time. And heaven help you if you both have Leftovers attached, which will easily heal more HP than Struggle will hurt you for...
The Wobbuffet vs. Wobbuffet scenario is the likely reason why in Generation IV and onward the recoil damage from Struggle is equal to 1/4 the user's max HP instead of 1/2 the damage dealt to the target.
Many Pokémon. All Absol try to warn people about disasters despite suffering from Cassandra Did It, all Bagon want to fly so badly they developed natural crash helmets to protect themselves when leaping off cliffs, all Meowth like shiny things and collect them, etc... This can lead to an Out of Character if you happen to get a Single Specimen Species with a nature that contradicts its Canon personality, like a timid or Jolly Mewtwo.
Planimal: Bulbusaur's family is both animal and plant simultaneously. Also Chikorita, Treecko, Turtwig, Snivy and Pansage, being part weird dinosaur, gecko, turtle, snake and monkey, respectively.
Plot Tumor: In Generation I, the legendaries were just unique, really strong Pokémon. In Generation II, they were still "unique, really strong Pokémon", but there were legends and myths behind them. Generation III and on, the legendaries consist of Physical Gods that created the world and Anthropomorphic Personifications of nature, and the Big Bad of the game is plotting to take control of them to destroy/take over the world.
Pluralses: Non-fans or casual fans often don't realize that both the franchise name and the names of individual Pokémon don't get an S on the end; singular and plural are the same (one Pokémon, many Pokémon; one Pikachu, many Pikachu).
Police Are Useless: To varying degrees. In the anime, Team Rocket never get arrested (mostly because Ash makes them blast off). In the games, officers only fight at night, and even when there's a museum robbery, or when an organization has set up an evil-looking base in the middle of town, both done in broad daylight, only the player actively attempts to fight back.
Looker is a one-man exemplification of this trope, up until his very last appearance, in which he actually arrests someone, go figure.
Taken further in Pokemon Colosseum. There are only two officers in a crime-filled desert, and their long arm of the law isn't nearly long enough to stamp out the crime in their town, much less all of Orre.
The first generation unlocked the Cerulean Cave, home to the most powerful Pokémon Mewtwo. The remakes also unlocked the last four Sevii Islands.
The second generation unlocked the Kanto region, with the leaders of the first generation ready to fight you again. Many people however consider this to be part of the game and not an unlockable. Mt. Silver on the other hand only unlocks when you beat the 8 old gyms and lets you fight the True Final Boss, the protagonist of the first generation.
The third generation unlocks the roaming Pokémon Latios (in Ruby) or Latias (in Sapphire), with Emerald letting the player choose which one of the two will be roaming. Ruby and Sapphire unlock the Sky Pillar (where Rayquaza can be battled/caught) and the Battle Tower; Emerald unlocks the Battle Frontier, Terra Cave and Marine Cave (the locations where Groudon and Kyogre can be battled/caught, respectively), the National Pokédex (completion nets a choice of one of the Johto starters), and new areas in Hoenn's Safari Zone (of which the inhabitants are mostly Johto Pokémon).
The fourth generation unlocks the upper right part of the map, with the Fight, Survival, and Resort Areas, but to unlock the latter two you need to have seen every Pokémon in the Regional Pokédex (which can be a pain in the ass and a Guide Dang It to boot). Turnback Cave also appeared when you unlocked the previous areas. Pokémon swarms started to appear every day too.
The fifth generation went one step further than any other, as the League Champion is now a post-endgame battle, something never done before. Other important fights with Bonus Bosses are unlocked too, as well as new areas (the right part of the map) where old generation Pokémon appear. The option to connect with the fourth generation becomes available too.
Black 2 and White 2, due to being sequels rather than simply third versions, unlock not only the White Forest/Black city areas, as well as the ability to import from the 4th Gen, but also the first area from Black and White, Icirrus city and it's surrounding environs, the Nature Preserve (which requires you to have seen the entire Unova Dex in addition), and, for a first, the versions legendary mascot, unavailable before completing the game.
The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series are far from over when you end the game. You'll gain access to many new areas and a second storyline. You'll also be able to fight (and even recruit) the boss legendary Pokémon from the first part.
Power Copying: Pokémon can do this in a variety of ways, both temporarily (Ditto and Mew's move Transform, as well as the moves Mimic and Mirror Move) or permanently (Smeargle's Sketch makes it learn the opponent's move).
The Pokémon ability Trace allows the user to specifically copy the opponent's ability (determined randomly if more than one foe is present), and the move Role Play is a manual method of accomplishing the same thing that the ability Trace does.
Power Creep: And how. It's impossible to keep track of all the old-school Pokémon that have been completely eclipsed by new counterparts. The addition of physical fire moves should have been a godsend for Flareon, but instead they gave Flare Blitz to every other fire-type and left the little weirdo to swing. Pidgeot and Fearow got two of the worst abilities in the game, while Swellow got Guts to dovetail with STAB Facade, and Staraptor got Close Combat and Intimidate. Persian is outclassed by Ambipom's superior Attack stat and slightly better movepool. Electabuzz got an intriguing Attack-heavy evolution, but the only physical Electric move that stands out (Volt Tackle) is still exclusive to the Pikachu line, while Electivire's signature ability has been distributed to newer Pokémon. Magmar's corresponding evolution gets Thunderbolt to deal with Water-types, but has low Speed, weak priority, and an ill-suited ability. Primeape at least got Close Combat, but can't keep up with mixed and boosting Infernape and Lucario. Similarly, Pinsir got Close Combat but not Megahorn, so there's really no competing with Heracross.
Power Limiter: Poké Balls of all kinds, though presumably the "limiter" (whatever it is; maybe a mental block?) can be removed by the Trainer temporarily, should they wish.
Power Of The Storm: Any Pokemon who can learn the move Rain Dance can summon rain. Similarly, any Pokemon with the ability Drizzle can cause a permanent version of Rain Dance, which was part of the world-threatening issue in the plot of the 3rd generation games. Any Pokemon with the ability Cloud Nine or Air Lock can dispel these storms. Notable is Rayquaza, who can stop the effects of Kyogre's Drizzle almost instantly.
Mewtwo summons a storm which rivals the worst storm in documented history in the first movie.
The Power of the Sun: Solarbeam, Sunny Day, Morning Sun, Weather Ball, the Abilities Chlorophyll, Solar Power, Forecast, Flower Gift...
Power Up Letdown: Few HM moves have enough attack power to make them useful in competitive multiplayer battling, and become useful only in the field. A Pokémon equipped with HM moves exclusively for field usage is sometimes called an "HM Slave". Surf and Waterfall are the major exceptions, as they are both staples of competitive battling.
Practical Taunt: The moves Taunt, used in making the target only use offensive moves, and Torment, for preventing the target from using the same move twice in a row.
The series only plays this straight with Mossdeep Gym Leaders Tate and Liza, who look like young children (complete with Twin Telepathy). And maybe Caitlin, depending on which generation you're playing. All the other prominent Psychic-type trainers (eg. Sabrina, Will, Lucian, as well as the Psychic trainer class) appear to be at least in their twenties.
Some Psychic-type Pokémon, such as Mime Jr, Smoochum, Ralts, Kirlia, Gothita, and Gothorita actually resemble children.
Psychic Powers: Psychic-type Pokémon, as well as a few humans (human psychics coincidentally tend to favor Psychic-type Pokémon).
Punch Clock Villain: Most trained Pokémon owned by evil teams are apparently like this. The grunts of each version's evil team also tend to be this. (Team Plasma grunts are the major exception; they're Unwitting Pawns instead.) After Team Plasma collapses, a polite former member even sets up an incense shop in Driftveil's Market.
Just about every Pokémon's name is a pun or Portmanteau on their type, design, or general nature — some of the puns are even bilingual.
In the English versions, almost every single Gym Leader and Elite Four member's name is a pun on their preferred type. Lt. Surge, Wattson, Volkner and Elesa are Electric trainers, Brock, Roxanne and Roark are Rock trainers, Pryce, Candice and Brycen are Ice trainers, Fantina, Morty and Shauntal are Ghost trainers, and so forth.
Purposely Overpowered: Many of the Pokémon are this. While it may be a compensation for things the Pokémon that lack the capabilities to become useful, it still turned some heads at some of the choices.
Generation V has been especially generous to many of the Pokémon, gifting them with new attacks and abilities.
Blaziken, after much time as a slightly sub-par Pokémon, was gifted with one of the best abilities: Speed Boost, which raises your Speed stat by one stage at the end of each turn upon being sent out.
This single ability boosted Blaziken right into the Uber tier, a tier normally only having been by a majority of Legendary Pokémon... and Garchomp.
One of the more threatening Pokémon, Salamence has found great solace in the great ability, Moxie, which raises your attack by one stage each time the Pokémon present on the field faints an opponent. This made our draconic friend even more powerful, what with having the offensive distribution allowing for ample sweeping; god forbid it uses Dragon Dance, prior.
One of the most surprising of the introductions is the release of the Technician ability to potent sweepers. The greatest users of these are Scizor and Breloom, both already being terrors to the metagame.
It’s a known fact that Eeveelutions have uneven distributions when it comes to strength, but when you gift the ability Magic Bounce to one, you know you’ve gone too far.
The Dragon type isn't super effective against anything besides itself but the only type which resists it is Steel. Dragons make up for this by learning attacks of varying types, such as Fire Blast and Earthquake. Many Dragon type Pokemon find themselves in the upper tiers of Smogon's tier list of competitive play. Only 13 are not and most of those are not fully evolved.
Race Lift: Colosseum Leader Rosie and Colosseum Master Sashay were given darker skintones in the American version of Battle Revolution due to complaints of a lack of any skintone variance.
Players curse pretty much anything that has a random chance of happening, whether it's Standard Status Effects, their Mon injuring itself in confusion, the opposing Mon landing a Critical Hit....
Accuracy/evasion are a special annoyance, as while all Mons have a base accuracy of 100%, moves that affect accuracy or evasion will make anything (short of an Always Accurate Attack) seem to miss at the worst possible times, and seemingly more against you than the AI.
Most field moves do essentially the same task: "Cut" and Rock "Smash" destroy obstacles (trees and rocks) on the field, "Whirlpool" and "Waterfall" grant passage across obstacles in water (like, well, whirlpools and waterfalls)
Aside from HMs, there are a lot of moves that have the exact same base power, accuracy, and/or effects, but with different elemental typings. Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt, for example. As of Gen V, Crabhammer became functionally identical to Aqua Tail (the former previously had slightly lower accuracy); Justified since they're both dependent on different body parts, and so currently have no overlap in which Pokémon can learn them.
Reality Warper: Stantler's Pokédex entry in Gold is "The curved antlers subtly change the flow of air to create a strange space where reality is distorted."
Based on its other Pokédex entries and the anime, it's more like where reality appears distorted. Its special abilities focus on hypnotism and illusions.
More accurately, Arceus in HeartGold/SoulSilver has the power to create an egg for one of the Gen 4 dragons in a special area. The way the animation for this is shown, it looks like it's remaking the entire Universe just to give you the egg. This is also the ONLY legitimate way to get a Legendary egg (Manaphy and Phione keep getting flip-flopped) or a level 1 Legendary of any kind.
We also have the Ralts-Kirlia-Gardevoir evolution line, all of whom can "warp reality" to some extent. Gardevoir in particular, according to its Pokédex entry, "has the psychokinetic power to distort the dimensions and create a small black hole", on top of future prediction and teleportation. Move aside, Alakazam and Mewtwo.
Recursive Adaptation: Pokémon Yellow Version and Pokémon Puzzle League are games based on the anime based on the main series of Pokémon games, with Yellow being part of the main series itself.
There's also a manga based on the TCG, more than one based on the anime and several based on spin-off games...all based on the original game series.
Reduced Mana Cost: Inverted with the "Pressure" ability, which doubles PP cost for the enemy's moves, and triples it in double battles if both Pokémon possess the Ability.
Red String of Fate: The held item Destiny Knot (a ball of red string) - if a Pokémon of the opposite gender uses Attract or the Cute Charm ability on you while you're holding it, your opponent becomes infatuated as well. Actually called Red String in the Japanese version, even.
Magnemite and its first evolution had their type changed from Electric to Electric/Steel in Gen 2. This makes them, along with Rotom, the only Pokémon who have ever had their Type Ret Conned.
Prior to the introduction of Pichu, the anime showed baby Pikachu.
Retro Upgrade: Pikachu, despite being pretty much the official mascot for the franchise, was never very useful in game due to its low stats. Later generations, however, included a special item called the Light Ball, which could only be equipped by Pikachu and would significantly boost its speed and damage, giving it a viable role as a Glass Cannon.
Roar Before Beating: Utilized as a gameplay mechanic. Moves like "Screech" and "Growl" will lower an opponent's stats without doing actual damage.
Rule of Three: There always are three starters and at least one legendary trio per game. There also usually come out three main games per generation, not counting remakes. As of Gen V, Triple Battles and Rotation Battles (which also use three Pokémon, but different field mechanics). Starting with Generation III, version mascots tend to be part of a trio as well (with the third one being used for the inevitable Updated Rerelease).
Running Gag: Most of main series games have a Fisherman with 6 Magikarps. In fact, in Generation V, since Magikarp can't be found prior to obtaining the National Dex, this trainer has Magikarp at Level 60 (58*
53 in Easy and 63 in Challenge
Hoenn games instead have a Fisherman with Magikarp and 5 Gyarados. Gold, Silver and Crystal on other hand, have no such team. Remakes fixed this, though guy gains only 1 Magikarp per rematch, so you're going to wait a while.
Played straight in Crystal where the female character option was first introduced, as well as in FR/LG; averted in the subsequent main games, where the character you don't choose becomes an NPC.
Partly played straight in HG/SS which, despite Leaf being playable in LG/FR (leaving Red in purgatory), has Red as the Bonus Boss while Leaf is nowhere to be found.
Scissors Cuts Rock: In general gameplay, you can override type advantages by simply being much stronger than all opponents. Even the Elite Four can be defeated by a single starter if it's at level 100. There's also the common tactic of giving a Pokémon moves that can trump its type weaknesses (say, a Psychic-type Reuniclus beating a Dark-type opponent with the Fighting-type Focus Blast).
The ability Tinted Lens, which increases the power of ineffective attacks back up to the power of a neutral hit, can lead to this.
Second Person Attack: Done in a lot of the 3D games, because battle animations weren't built for two Pokémon to ever hit each other or even be on the same side of the arena.
Secret Character: At least one every generation. However, Mew, the original Secret Character, was apparently so secret that not even Nintendo knew at first that it was programmed into the original Red and Green Versions.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The "Nuzlocke" challenge, which quickly gained popularity. There are many variations that can further add to the difficulty, but the most basic rules are that (1) the player can only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area/route (whether you have to suffer catching duplicates is something dependent on your variation), (2) Pokémon that faint must be released or permanently boxed (they're "dead"), and (3) all Pokémon caught must be given nicknames (the only purpose this serves is to make it hurt more when they die).
Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: During battle, whenever one Pokémon strikes another Pokémon with a damage-dealing offensive move, one of three sound effects will play, depending on whether the move used was "not very effective" (dealt 1/2 or 1/4 the normal amount of damage), dealt normal damage, or was "super effective" (dealt two times to four times the normal amount of damage)note A Fire-type move used against a Paras or Parasect with the Dry Skin ability (Water-type moves restore 25% of the Pokémon's Hit Points, at the expense of Fire-type moves dealing 25% more damage) will deal five times the normal amount damage. In this scenario, the "super effective" sound effect is still played..
Travel to the Union Rooms in Diamond and Pearl also spins you.
Using Escape Ropes to get out of caves or the Teleport or Dig attacks outside of battle makes the character spin quickly.
Spin-Off: Along with the ones listed at the top of the page and their sequels, there is Pokémon Trozei, Pinball, Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire, Dash, Box: Ruby and Sapphire, and Puzzle League/Challenge.
Spiteful A.I.: There are a few moves in the games that allow the AI to qualify as this. Selfdestruct and Explosion both deal massive damage at the expense of the user fainting; Destiny Bond makes sure that if the user faints, so does the opponent; Perish Song adds a counter to everyone out in battle that makes sure that everyone faints in 3 turns. Often when fighting a trainer, their last mon will use one of those moves. The Aftermath ability chips off 1/4 of the opponent's HP if the user faints by means of an attack that makes contact.
Starting from Gen 3, Double-Battle oriented moves. These are moves that are either completely useless (Helping Hand) or subpar (Tail Whip) in single battles, but they range from useful to plain broken in these battles. When you have to deal with the one-in-fifty Double Battle throughout the storyline, you can expect your opponent to not only have an arsenal of these moves, but also having been hand picked to complement each other and whoop your ass. Gen 5 made it way worse with Triple Battles, where the hax potential of a couple hand picked moves (which your opponent WILL have) goes through the roof in them.
Spiritual Successor: Arguably to the MOTHER series, which is supported by recurring shout outs to MOTHER games as far back as Red And Blue, as well as the fact that Creatures Inc, formerly Ape Inc, the main developer of the MOTHER series, receives a major share of the profit from the series.
Two of the most popular are Skarmory (against physical attacks) and Blissey (against special attacks, with the additional bonus of having the highest possible base HP in the game), often used together for the lockdown Skarmbliss strategy. The other extremely popular walls now include Forretress, Ferrothorn, and Reuniclus for their excellent defensive stats and typings. This is also, arguably, parodied with Shuckle, which combines absurd stats in both defenses with an immunity to One-Hit KO moves, but has horrifically abysmal attack stats. (Strangely, it also has pitiful hit points, so it can be taken out in two or three shots of Seismic Toss or Night Shade, if your opponent uses them.)
You can also adapt several others for this role, with the moves Cosmic Power or Stockpile.
Beyond them, Lugia and Cresselia qualify. They have titanic defensive stats and middling offenses... the catch is, the former is banned and the latter isn't used very often because of her unreliable recovery.
Wobbuffet, also banned in competitive play, has the third highest base HP in the game (over 500 at max level), but literally can't attack. It has no offensive moves, only counter-attacks. (Which are, admittedly, pretty powerful.)
Switch Out Move: The moves Whirlwind, Roar, Dragon Tail, and Circle Throw (all of which have decreased priority), and the Red Card item forces the opponent to switch out. The moves Baton Pass, U-Turn, and Volt Change, and the item Escape Button allow the user/holder to switch out.
Teaser Equipment: Inverted in all the main series Pokémon games. Even if you have the money to do so, shops refuse to sell you the higher level PokéBalls and healing items until you've advanced the plot and obtained sufficient Gym badges.
Technicolor Fire: Sacred Fire and Blue Flare, as well as many Dragon-type attacks.
Technicolor Toxin: The poison type element is purple, and many poisonous attacks and/or poison type Pokémon are violet in color.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played much more realistically than usual (i.e. different marking, horn sizes). Of course, there are also female Wobbuffet, who wear skanky lipstick.
The Dragon: In every organization, the Big Badalways has a Dragon or three. These usually come in the form of Admins.
Generation I and II: The Dragons of Team Rocket were Archer, Ariana, Petrel, and Proton.
In the anime, Jessie, James and Meowth could be considered Dragons, now... if they were powerful enough to supplement that newfound badassery of theirs.
Generation III: Teams Magma and Aqua both had two Dragons, Courtney and Tabitha, and Matt and Shelley respectively. However, the only discernible things about them were that they wore capes.
Generation IV: Quite possibly the most popular, Team Galactic boasted three Dragons; Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Different in personality, same horrible fashion sense.
Generation V: This Generation was a bit confusing, as the Dragons seemed to be ‘’everyone’’ in Plasma. Really, the Sages and Shadow Triad took a backseat ride on this rollercoaster of emotions and over-zealous gym contraptions. One could say that Ghetsis was N’s Dragon, but became the Big Bad in the end. Who knows?
In Black and White 2, both the Shadow Triad and Sages took a stance as Dragons… to Ghetsis.
All Pokémon could possibly considered to be Dragons, considering the fact that they’re used to protect their Trainer and fight in their stead. Then again, they might as well be the Big Bad themselves, considering that your Trainer is apparently narcoleptic, having a bad habit of blacking (or whiting out, in Generation V) once they lose a battle. It's just that important.
Celebi is the most well known for being able to do it (and it takes the player character on a trip through time during an event in Heart Gold and Soul Silver).
The ability to trade between the first two generations is achieved by the "Time Capsule".
Similarly, if a Pokémon that originated in Generation III is brought to Generation IV through Pal Park and then to Generation V through Poké Transfer, it will be noted as having arrived "after a long travel through time".
Many Pokémon will do this as they evolve. (Tiny red lizard into giant fire-breathing dragon, friendly-looking alligator into a giant hulking leviathan, small turtle into a monstrous tortoise with an entire forest on its back, etc.)
Probably the most famous example is Magikarp. Magikarp goes from an Joke Characteridiotic fish to a giant leviathan, and there's plenty of other examples, like Horsea being a tiny, cutesy seahorse, and its final form Kingdra being a watery dragon seahorse with the ability to create whirlpools by yawning. And Starly, Diamond and Pearl's Com Mons early bird, finally evolves into one of the strongest birds of prey in the entire series.
A possible subversion is Raichu. It's even in the same tier as its pre evo Pikachu, and since there is an item only Pikachu can use, it might even be weaker than it. This is probably because Pikachu is far more popular than it.
This is give credence by said item only appearing in the second generation on. Originally, in the first games (ie. before Pikachu was the "face" of Pokemon), it was a straight example.
Cubone can also fit this in terms of his story. He starts out eternally sad over the death of his parents, but eventually starts to get stronger so he can overcome this sadness. In the end, he becomes a much more powerful creature for it and, if you really think about it, Marowak almost has the same backstory as Batman. Not to mention, Marowak and Cubone can become among the strongest Pokémon in the game when equipped with Thick Club.
Azumarill can fit this. It was introduced in Gold/Silver with a pathetic 50 base stat in Attack, but when Ruby and Sapphire came along with the addition of its new ability Huge Power, Azumarill is effectively stronger than Gyarados when stats are maxed - and by a good margin too, making it into a Cute Bruiser.
Ditto did this when it got its own unique Ability in Black and White.
Too Awesome to Use: PP Ups, Max Ethers, Elixirs, Max Elixirs, Rare Candies, and Max Revives are hardly used by most players due to how rare the items are and are never sold in shops. The burden of the trope is slightly reduced if a Pokémon has the ability to scavenge items on the field and may scoop up rare items such as those.
The Master Ball is also never used on any Pokémon except for legendary Pokémon or ones that are difficult to catch. Most people in Gen I used the Master Ball on Mewtwo, but by Gen II and later, the series started to add multiple legendary Pokémon.
It's possible to get more by winning the Pokémon Lottery. This requires presenting a Pokémon with the exact 5-digit trainer ID that's announced by the lottery attendant. Black and White added a man who gives you a second Master Ball if you trade with 50 different trainers (good luck with that). Black 2 and White 2 have the Join Avenue Raffle, a shop you can add to your avenue that has the Master Ball as a grand prize; you can also get one in the post game by beating Colress on Route 18.
Tornado Move: Multiple moves are depicted as this, including Gust, Twister, and Whirlwind. These moves do double damage to Pokémon that are on their first turn of Fly.
Unique Items: Certain Pokemon (the most well known of them being Mew, Mewtwo and the fossils) don't appear in the wild and you only have one shot at obtaining them during a scripted event. Some items like the Masterball are only given to you once.
Averted, and for a good reason. Pokémon games have insane amounts of content which to achieve 100% completion requires not only months of gameplay, but also trading with other people and, if you want some legendaries, going to one-time events. Now imagine if all the results of work were Lost Forever because of one single misstep. As such, Game Freak goes to insane lengths to ensure the player can never lock themselves into a corner.
Played straight if you end up with certain glitch Pokémon, most of which will freeze the game and at least one of which will cause your save file to corrupt upon catching it and attempting to access the storage system. Contrary to popular belief, however, MissingNo. will not do this; only a good amount of the REAL glitch Pokémon will.
Played equally straight with Glitch City if entered carelessly. If you make it there without bringing any Pokémon that know Fly/Teleport (Or at least the HM/TM respectively and Pokémon who can learn said moves), your only exit is to reset the power. Oh, and if you actually saved your progress there without any of the above... well, say goodbye to your childhood progress.
Updated Rerelease: Every pair of Pokémon games that isn't a Video Game Remake has had at least one. (In Japan, Red and Green had two; first Blue improved the graphics and sound, then Yellow improved the graphics further and introduced elements from the anime series.)
One fan theory suggests that somewhere during the first generation's development, the sprite designs for Butterfree and Venomoth were accidentally switched due to a bug; Butterfree has a striking resemblance to Venomoth's pre-evolution Venonat. It's speculated that instead of correcting the mistake in later releases, the developers might've decided to just Throw It In.
"Okay, go to the mansion at night on the third Friday of the month with all three starters and a Raichu in your party, touch the statue one hundred times, and then go into the garden and run around clockwise another one hundred times. The lady in front of the door at the end of the right hallway will leave and when you go inside the room, Oak will give you a ball containing MewThree!" The funniest thing about this is that the Nugget Bridge area Mew Glitchactually works!
The Mew truck rumour.
Hell, if there's any series that has a wealth of rumors about things in the games, it's Pokémon. There were rumors that proliferated way back when about being able to find Togepi (introduced in the anime long before the second generation Pokémon were officially announced) and "Pikablu" (aka Marill) in the original games. And yes, millions of rumors of ways to find Mew. One particularly amusing one was that if you defeat the Elite Four 100 times, Professor Oak will tell you that he's sick of inducting you into the Hall of Fame every other Wednesday and give you free roam of the room. Take a guess what you would apparently find in the room. Hint:It rhymes with "stew", is almost as pink as Kirby, and has incredible learning potential.
'M, one of the glitch Pokémon, was supposed to evolved into a Level 1 Kangaskhan that know Sky Attack in Red/Blue. It's true. (The Sky Attack is there because 'M starts with it.)
Almost every player had some variation of "Hold B while trying to capture a Pokémon to raise your success rate."
This tends to be more along the lines of D&D players' "Don't touch my dice!" superstitions. Not many really believe it works, but do it anyway as something resembling tradition.
An example of an ascended urban legend is Leafeon. Leafeon was a common rumor back during the late 90s because the Leaf Stone was the only one of the elemental stones (not including the Moon Stone) that didn't evolve Eevee. So naturally, rumors flew about the mythical "Leafeon". It took three more generations, but they finally put it in. Though, ironically, it doesn't evolve via Leaf Stone, but rather by leveling Eevee up in a particular forest near a particular rock.
From Ruby, Saphire, and Emerald, we get this little joy: Go to the space center in Mossdeep. Once they've sent out 100 rockets (with one rocket going up a week) they will allow you to go to the moon where you can capture Jirachi/Deoxys/tons of Metagross/something! In reality, the only thing that happens around that time is the Berry glitch in unpatched copies of Ruby and Saphire.
Victor Gains Loser's Powers: After beating a Gym Leader you're given the TM of one of the moves their Pokémon had. The EV system also fits this perfectly - when your Pokemon beats another, it gains points in its Effort Value(s) in one or more stats, generally the highest stat of the vanquished opponent.
Video Game Caring Potential: Some Pokémon can only evolve by being especially happy with you. Also, the move Return is stronger the more your Pokémon likes you.
Like Return, the move Frustration gets stronger the less your Pokémon likes you.
Getting the best possible stats on a Pokémon without resorting to cheating/hacking or drawn out Save Scumming involves abandoning a lot of newborns when they don't have the base stats you want.
Video Game Remake: FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance are remakes of Red and Green/Blue for the Game Boy, and HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS are remakes of Gold and Silver for the Game Boy Color.
Wakeup Call Boss: The first Gym Leaders in the first, third, and fourth generations use Rock Pokémon, which have a type advantage against Fire-type starters. This began with Brockfor players who started with Charmander. The second generation instead starts with Falkner, who uses Flying Pokémon, which would have this trait for players who chose the Grass-type Chikorita.
Definitely Whitney. Whitney is always a WUC Boss because her Miltank has Milk Drink, Defense Curl, Rollout, and Attract. Defense Curl results in a 50% defense boost and doubles Rollout's power which continues to increase after each successive use. After 3 or 4, it can OHKO your entire team. And Attract makes it so that if your Pokemon is the opposite gender, 50% of the time it won't even attack. (Theoretically, anyways- which, of course, means that the probability is effectively greater than 80.)
Made even worse in the remakes, where Miltank has the ability Scrappy, which allows it to damage Ghost-types. Considering that this was the easiest way to beat her in the original G/S/C, your only hope now is an over-leveled Fighting-type.
Generation V does this for everyone, as the Gym Leader changes based on your starting Pokémon. Assuming people who ask you what Pokémon you started with can't be lied to to avert this.
Actually subverted; you can get one of the elemental monkeys strong to whichever Gym Leader you end up with in the Dreamyard.
Wasted Song: Many examples, due to a combination of the games' worlds being rather small (e.g. a town may have good theme music, but you'd have to deliberately stand around to listen to it because in all likelihood the storyline is going to have you quickly backtracking between the Pokemon Center and other buildings with their own theme music) or use of the bicycle (whose theme overrides the theme of whatever area you mount it in). Special mention to the third generation, which had several background themes that were only used during special download events.
In Emerald, it actually says "The water is dyed a deep blue..." As though it's the contractual obligation of all the water-dwelling 'mons to ensure that water is properly blue, so they actually scatter dye all over the place.
Weak, but Skilled: If you decide to use more than 3 Pokémon on an in-game team prior to Generation 5's experience gain overhaul, you will likely have them all lower level than most Trainer's Pokémon if you don't grind, forcing you to exploit elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, which you can do easily thanks to your team's variety.
Because of the effort-value system, where your mons gain additional stat boosts by defeating other mons, your bread and butter Mons will have better stats than the same mon caught in the wild, even with a 2 or 3 level advantage.
Unskilled, but Strong: Going with only 1 or 2 Pokémon will result in you having a massive level advantage even without grinding.
For a specific Pokémon example, Smeargle, who has all-around poor base stats, but through its move Sketch, can permanently learn any move in the entire game bar two, Chatter and Struggle.
Whale Egg: AllPokémon hatch from Eggs, even the mammalian, human-shaped, and mechanical ones( not to mention the Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action). Even Arceus, hailed in Sinnoh legend to be the creator of all Pokémon, was born from an egg that emerged within nothingness/a swirling vortex of chaos.
Mewtwo is an exception. In the Pokémon games, documents within the Cinnabar Pokémon Mansion state that Mew gave birth to Mewtwo, while the Pokémonanime implies that Mewtwo is a unique Pokémon, being cloned on a New Island laboratory from a fossilized eyebrow of Mew.
This gets a little ridiculous in later installments when double battles can be triggered by two NPCs catching the player character's eye at the same time. This is often enforced by having two trainers standing on opposite sides of the road staring at each other...but not battling until the player character walks between them.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Averted; where else can you befriend trash bags* Trubbish and Garbodor, snakes* the Ekans, Dunsparce, Seviper, and Snivy lines, ghosts* too many to count, antises* the Scyther line, bees* Beedrill and the Combee line, spiders* the Spinarak and Joltik lines, lizards* too many to count, salamanders* the Charmander line, bats* the Zubat and Woobat lines, coelacanths* Relicanth, jellyfish* the Tentacool and Frillish lines, bag worms* the Pineco and Burmy lines, sharks* Sharpedo, mudfish* the Mudkip line, kappa* the Lotad line, cacti* the Cacnea line and Maractus, psychic mirrors* the Bronzor line, barghests* Absol, eels* Huntail, Gorebyss, and the Tynamo line, antlions* Trapinch, anomalocaris◊* the Anorith line, scorpions* the Gligar and Skorupi lines, crabs* the Krabby and Corphish lines, skunks* the Stunky line, piranhas* Carvanha and Basculin, toads* the Poliwag, Croagunk, and Tympole lines, sea slugs* the Shellos line, hellhounds* the Houndour line, crocodilians* the Totodile and Sandile lines, weasels* the Sneasel and Mienfoo lines, venus flytraps* Weepinbell, Victreebel and Carnivine, masses of vines* the Tangela line, giant moving stomachs* the Gulpin line, lumps of sludge* the Grimer line, levitating sea mines* the Koffing line, crows* the Murkrow line, rhinoceroses* the Rhyhorn line, magnets* the Magnemite line, exploding spheres* the Voltorb line, and living iron and mineral* too many to count?
However, the fourth gen's Amity Square plays it straight, only allowing certain Pokémon designated "cute" to walk with their Trainers inside. A nearby Trainer lampshades it, calling "discrimination."
Yank the Dog's Chain: In the games, when you are close to defeating an opponent's pokemon, he or she will pull out some potion that will restore the health of the Pokemon.
You Keep Using That Word: The games use the word "gendernote To clarify: Sex (as in, "what is your sex") refers to physical characteristics, while gender refers to mental ones. They are often used interchangeably, but as any Transsexual can tell you, they don't always match." to refer to male vs. female. This works alright... until the fourth generation, which introduces "gender differences" (i.e. Sexual dimorphism).
Likely a subsection of Gosh Dang It to Heck!; by calling it gender it avoids actually saying "sex" or "sexual."
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Generation III had four "Formes" for Deoxys, and Platinum introduces Giratina's "Altered Forme" and "Origin Forme", and Shaymin's "Land Forme" and "Sky Forme". The Pokédex still uses "forms" for its tab for viewing alternate forms, as well as for individual entries for most Pokémon, such as Unown's 28 forms (each labeled "one form" in the Pokédex, as opposed to "one forme").
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most of the player characters in the games have fairly normal black or brown... except Kris, the female player character from Crystal, who has dark blue hair. However, Lyra, her replacement from HeartGold and SoulSilver, is brown-haired.
All of the Team Galactic members except for Mars and Jupiter have blue hair.