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: Red and Green. 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 ) 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 , 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-one Competitive 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 , 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 Red and Blue, which were pretty much Red and Green 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-mascot Pikachu 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 , 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.
Examples found in Pokémon: