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  • Ever since the first sequels were announced, Pokémon rumors focus hugely on the next generation of games before they're released, especially on which Pokémon are rumored to be in them. You've got fake magazine scans showing Pokémon that are supposed to (but obviously don't) exist in the next game, a fake Pikachu evolution that spread like wildfire across various Japanese Twitter feeds, and tons and tons of lists of rumored things supposedly in the next Pokémon game and told to the author by their friend/relative/someone who works on the development team.
  • There's always at least one Pokémon in each set of games that can't be captured during regular gameplay — you can only get them through a limited-edition promotional item (or a GameShark). Many rumors revolve around a hidden point and/or series of actions to take that allows you to get one:
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    • The biggest proliferation happened with the first generation, which was released before sites like GameFAQs hit it big and enough fans were talented enough to dissect the game code. They had probably 73 different ways you could get a Mew. Fans finally discovered one that worked — a glitch, found in 2003, five years after the game's North American release, by which time most people had lost interest (and the contemporary games wouldn't even accept a first-gen Mew due to compatibility limitationsnote ).
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    • In the Generation III games, there was a rumor that you could get Deoxys or Jirachi by hitching a ride into space on the rocket when it's about to launch from Mossdeep City, but only when the countdown is at an exact number (which varies depending on the account, but 50 and 99 are the most popular). While this isn't possible in the original games, in a fit of Ascended Fanon, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire do allow you to catch Deoxys this way, but on Rayquaza rather than the rocket. There's a more obscure rumor that Celebi was also obtainable, through a one-in-about-200-million chance of appearing on a certain route in pre-order copies of the game, though this one didn't circulate much.
  • The original games, Pokémon Red and Blue, have so many legitimate secrets and glitches that it was inevitable that this trope would come into play. Many of them have a grain of truth that's only obvious now.
    • The Missingno. glitch is the most famous. It's a real glitch, and it looked as insane and arbitrary as any of the rumors — unless you were versed in programming. Missingno. was one of several "secret Pokémon" who would show up if you did a series of unlikely things: you had to talk to a seemingly irrelevant tutorial NPC in Viridian City, then Surf along a specific beach on Cinnabar Island, which would make weird Pokémon show up, like Golbat and Snorlax over the level cap of 100, and weird new Pokémon like Missingno.note  Missingno. would make weird stuff happen if you caught one, like screw with in-battle graphics, permanently glitch the Hall of Fame, and possibly become permanently irretrievable if you put it in a PC box. And encountering or capturing it would duplicate the sixth item in your inventory up to 255 times, so if you did this with powerful items like Master Balls or Rare Candies, you could break the game wide open. That's all very weird — and all true, but people also made up many more rumors about Missingno. and its glitch brethren:
      • Some claim they were supposed to be in the game, as the proverbial joker in the deck. They're not; they're actually placeholder values. The glitch tricks the game into calling data for Pokemon numbered higher than 151, which don't exist, but the game appears to anticipate this problem and calls up Missingno. There are 39 such placeholders, which the developers eventually admitted were extra Pokémon who were cut from the game.
      • Some claim that if you catch Missingno., it will erase your other Pokémon, or even your entire save file, if certain conditions are met. It's supposedly named "Missingno." because your files are missing now. It won't be that destructive to your game. The "Missingno." designation actually stands for "missing number", partly because it's a placeholder value and partly as a reference to the Japanese superstition that certain numbers are unlucky due to their association with death.
      • Missingno. is a complete Urban Legend of Zelda in most European countries, where when the games were finally released, they patched some of the glitches, including the ones that lead to Missingno. Unfortunately for those European gamers, gaming publications (largely borrowing and translating from North America) didn't get the memo and left in the steps to get there, which now did nothing. The glitches that remain didn't help matters there.
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    • There were several supposed secret Pokémon other than Missingno. They were often referred to collectively as "Pokégods", and were said to be so powerful, they could kill your Pokemon for real or delete your save file if you lost to them. Others were said to be obtained by talking to certain NPCs so many times that you get them to say something different.note  Many were derived from leaked concepts for second-generation Pokémon, especially in North America, which was eyeballs-deep in the Pokécraze and not thinking about a sequel at all when the Gen II games were under development in Japan. Among the so-called Pokégods were:
      • "Pikablu", which was supposedly a water-type Pikachu. Some suggest it even evolved from Raichu, which can't evolve. That said, an NPC who trades you an Electrode for a Raichu will later tell you that "the Raichu you traded me went and evolved!" (which is an error in translation — the original Japanese has you trade a Kadabra, which can evolve — and in fact, only does so if you trade it). "Pikablu" is actually Marill from Gen II, and the connection to Pikachu is just a visual resemblance.
      • "Pikaflare" is a similar rumor; it's supposedly a fire-type Pikachu, but it turned out to be derived from early concepts for what would eventually become Gen II's Cyndaquil.
      • Red and Blue have different Eevee evolutions for nearly all the elemental stones (Fire, Water, and Thunder), but none for the Leaf or Moon Stones. Rumors abounded of how you can get a new evolution through one of the new stones. One of the rumors of a "Moon" type evolution bore itself out through the Dark-type Umbreon, introduced in Generation II — but it evolves via Happiness at night and not via Moon Stone. Concepts for a Grass-type evolution were toyed with during Gen II's development, but one wouldn't show up until Gen IV introduced Leafeon (and it evolves by leveling up an Eevee in a particular area, rather than with a Leaf Stone — this keeps everything consistent in-universe).
      • "Tricket" is a supposed secret Bug Pokémon. The story goes that if you go through the game exclusively with various Bug Pokémon, Professor Oak will acknowledge your love for bugs and give you Tricket as a reward. The sequence as described is impossible; the required Pokémon cannot learn Surf or Strength, necessary to get into and through Victory Road. We wouldn't get a cricket Pokémon until Kricketot and Kricketune in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, many years later.
      • "Doomsay" and its evolution "Doomsday" were supposedly very powerful Ghost-type Pokémon. Today, many assume them to be based on concept art for Gen II's Houndour and Houndoom, but rumors about Doomsay and Doomsday had been circulating even before then.
    • There were several more supposed secret evolutions:
      • Some believed that you could evolve Shellder into Gastly by forcing it to close into its shell. This mostly followed from naïveté when people were just getting into Pokémon; the instruction manuals had a single empty spot between Shellder and Gastly in the Pokédex, which turned out just to be Cloyster.
      • One of Electronic Gaming Monthly's many April Fools' Day pranks claimed that Dragonite could evolve into Yoshi if you did a certain trick.
      • A more insane April Fool's joke (courtesy of the official website of Nintendo of America itself) claimed that Lickitung could evolve into Luigi if you fed it a Rare Candy while holding your Game Boy upside-down. It's particularly nonsensical because it requires Lickitung to be caught in Blue in a specific type of Pokéball; the games didn't keep track of this until Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and you can only obtain Lickitung in Blue through trade anyway. The sprite they showed for Luigi is also clearly just grayscaled artwork from the original Super Smash Bros., much higher-quality than the game's real sprites. Game Freak may have referenced this rumor in the sixth generation, when we were introduced to Inkay, a Pokémon that indeed does evolve when you hold your console upside-down.
    • And there were several more supposed secret evolutions into secret Pokemon, some of which were so popular that they became the basis for Mega Evolutions starting in Generation VI:
      • Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise were said to evolve into Sapusaur, Charcolt, and Rainer, respectively. The methods of accomplishing this varied from using the mythical "Mist Stone" on them to delaying their pre-evolved forms' evolutions enough times. One Pokémon FAQ site, asked "how do i get a charcolot?", responded with "Smash your game into exactly 1000 pieces and toss it in the trash. When you go to the city dump to retrieve it, it will be repaired and you will have charcolot." All three could indeed Mega Evolve starting in Gen VI.
      • "Mewthree" is so common that it's now a particular Fandom-Enraging Misconception. It originally derives from screencaps of an armored Mewtwo in the anime, which people believed to be a different Pokémon altogether. Mewtwo got two Mega Evolution forms in Gen VI, but people saw some screenshots before the concept of Mega Evolution was made public, reviving the rumor for a bit.
      • "Flareth" was said to be a fire-type which evolves from, depending on whom you ask, Flareon, Arcanine, Charizard, Rapidash, or the equally apocryphal "Dimonix" (or "Diminox", or "Dimondix" — itself supposedly evolved from Onix).
    • Rumors abounded of secret areas where you can get rare Pokémon:
      • A grassy path can be seen continuing north from Bill's house, but you can't access it. It became commonly known as "Bill's Secret Garden", and it was said to contain extremely rare Pokémon, usually Mew, Togepi, or Pikablu. Others claimed it contains the starters Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur — they can't be caught anywhere else in the game (and as breeding didn't exist back then, most people wouldn't want to trade their starters just to complete the Pokédex). If you use cheat codes or glitches to walk through walls, you can access it, but it's a patch the height of your character and as wide as Bill's house with nothing in it. In another fit of Ascended Fanon, there is a "secret garden" area in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, accessible only after completing the entire Pokédex (bar Legendaries) and containing many rare and unique Pokémon, including a shiny Haxorus.
      • A large patch of grass east of Pallet Town was rumored to be a direct path to Celadon City which contained the three starters and other rare Pokémon. You can't access it without a walk-through-walls exploit, and the grass contains no Pokémon; but it does have a bunch of Game Breaking glitches. And at least one strategy guide claims it's a legitimate "Route 26".
      • The Hall of Fame room, where Professor Oak records your victory over the Elite Four at the end of the game, is wide enough to seem to stretch past the screen borders, but you can't explore it. Legend has it that if you beat the Elite Four a ridiculous number of times, complete the Pokédex, and fulfill various other equally insane conditions, Professor Oak will snap during the cutscene, yell "I'm sick of this!", and leave you there to explore the room, which was alleged to contain Mewthree. Like with Bill's Secret Garden, GameShark has shown there's nothing there.
    • Some claim that if you trade a Pokémon through every translation of the game and then back to its original trainer, you can break the level 100 cap and buff it up to level 999. This arose out of the manuals for the European versions suggesting that players avoid trading Pokémon between versions of the game in different languages in order to preserve the data integrity of the save file.
    • In many Pokémon games, it's rumored that you could increase the chance of catching a Pokémon by mashing buttons in a specific way, and it's particularly popular for the Gen I games. This claim was even repeated on the official Nintendo website. Although it certainly feels effective, it usually doesn't work. The random number generator can be manipulated slightly through button inputs, but this requires, among other things, that you know the random number generator's exact state at all times, making it useful only to tool-assisted speedrunners.
    • A popular rumor revolves around a truck in a secret harbor in Vermilion City. You can only access it by surfing around the S.S. Anne, which usually leaves never to return long before you get the Surf HM. Clever players avoided this, either by simply trading for the Cut HM from another game (avoiding the need to board the ship entirely), by deliberately losing in battle (which automatically takes you to the last-visited Pokémon Center and tricks the boat into remaining in harbor), or by exploiting glitches to allow you to pass the guard a second time. While the truck contains no secrets, it became incredible fodder for rumors. Neither Nintendo nor Game Freak have ever officially explained its presence. That's not to say that the developers were above referencing it once the rumors took off; they hid a Lava Cookie there for the GBA remakes, and an NPC references it in a song lyric in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness:
    There's no Pokémon under a truck, maybe you'll just find a Muk.
    • Some claim you can get the S.S. Anne to come back after it left. An NPC does claim that the ship would return in a year, but the original games have no way of telling the time beyond hours played.
      • It is worth noting that, due to the game's programming, the S.S. Anne never actually leaves the harbor (likely due to space constraints); once you leave the ship and are told it has set sail, another character bars you from continuing along the pier to board it a second time. Passing this character, either via glitches or external tools, reveals the ship exactly as it was when you last left it.
    • If you register all 150 available Pokémon, minus Mew, in your PokéDex, you get to view a diploma congratulating your achievement. However, rumor had it that doing the same in the Japanese versions awarded you with a Mew instead, possibly because the diploma was considered to be a bit of a letdown for completing such a difficult task. The diploma is all you get in all versions, though, and Mew was equally as unobtainable outside glitches and events as it was in the West.
  • Moving on to Generation II and Pokémon Gold and Silver:
    • Many rumors revolve around the differences between the two generations, including areas accessible in Gen I but not Gen II (such as the closed tunnel between Celadon City and Lavender Town). In reality, there just isn't quite enough room on the cartridge to squeeze in the entire Kanto region, so a handful of areas had to be cut or shrunk to fit.
    • Pokérus is effectively a subversion, since it sounds exactly like a made-up fan myth; a secret status effect that increases EV stat gains, which themselves are a hidden mechanic never fully explained to the player? It's real, for all main-series games starting in Gen II, but it's incredibly rare (a 0.00458% chance of being generated per battle, about three times as unlikely as the lowest possible shiny rate), so you almost certainly won't see it in a casual playthrough (or several).
    • According to a very long-lived rumor, letting a Shuckle hold Berry Juice for long enough causes it to change into a Rare Candy. While Berry Juice itself is obtained by letting a Shuckle hold a Berry, there's absolutely no code in the game for it to be further converted into a Rare Candy.
  • Pokémon Black and White has the following rumors:
    • That there is a "swimming goggles" held item which increases accuracy and Special Attack and puts non-Water Pokémon using it to sleep. It was a popular rumor in early release stages, with the main reaction that Starmie would be overpowered now. Said item does not exist, nor does anything even similar to it.
    • That Bianca is the Champion. This was easily Jossed just by finishing the game, and an interview on Game Freak's website indicates that the ending as-is was intended from the start. But some fans still insist that it's true, claiming it was Dummied Out (unlikely) or a misinterpretation of her post-League team data as a Champion team. They also expected this to happen in the rumored third installment, in which she's still not the champion.
    • That you can drive a car. Actual cars do show up in the game, and one NPC talks about getting a driver's license, but you can't drive one yourself. It's a nice send-up of old Gen II rumors that you can ride your Pokémon rather than travel by bike, which becomes relevant in Pokémon X and Y and even more so in Sun and Moon.
    • That the previous player protagonist appears in the sequels. Some rumors said Hilda is canonically the hero, while others said that Hilbert appears if you play as Rosa and Hilda appears if you play as Nate. Nevertheless, the character is nowhere to be seen. The speculation might have come from Dummied Out data that has Hilbert and Hilda in the PWT.
    • That Arceus is hiding at the center of Abyssal Ruins. Persistent, but not true.
    • That Zekrom, Reshiram, and Victini can be shiny. Sadly, it's not true, but this hasn't stopped rumors that you can get a shiny one from Dragonspiral Tower. This probably arises out of the fact that they have shiny sprite data (so that the game doesn't crash if someone hacks them in). All three were available at Wi-Fi giveaways, which leads fans to believe their shiny versions may be available in such giveaways in the future; this is unlikely, though, as Zekrom and Reshiram are plot-critical legendaries in their respective versions. They can appear as shiny in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire onward, but shiny Victini has yet to be made legitimately available.
  • Hey You, Pikachu!: The game has a persistent rumor that saying "PlayStation" or "Sega" would make Pikachu angry. Neither word is in the game's voice recognition library.
  • From Pokémon X and Y:
    • The game allows you to tip certain NPCs after conversations, your choice of nothing, 100, 500, or 1000 in-game currency. Allegedly, tipping 1000 all the time increases your chance of getting a Shiny Pokémon to appear in the wild, but nothing has ever been conclusively proven.
    • There were rumors of a second new Eeveelution — typically believed to be a Dragon-type — given that new Eeveelutions had previously only come in pairs and that Nintendo hadn't promoted Glaceon or Leafeon two generations prior. (Presumably, Sylveon was promoted due to it being a then-new type, a trait that so far is only shared with Umbreon.) Within a few weeks of the games' release, no one was able to find anything, and the speculation died down.
    • A weird rumor suggested that you could find colorless Pokémon. Some versions mentioned them as just a glitch in the textures that can disappear after closing and reopening the game; others had them as a second Palette Swap even rarer than the usual shiny Pokémon. Neither version was true.
    • When playing in English, an NPC in Lumiose City can be seen saying she heard "a Lava Dome Pokémon" was in the area where she was standing. This descriptor is used for Heatran, leading people to assume that there was either some secret way to catch one, or that bringing a Heatran to the woman would reveal something special. Ultimately, it turned out to just be a mistranslation from Japanese.
    • The Kalos region is said to have four power plants, but only one can ever be visited in gameplay. This, combined with the known existence of event Pokémon Volcanion, led to a series of rumors that the other three power plants could somehow be accessed and that they were linked to Volcanion. Interestingly, once it was proven by data mining that no such content existed in-game, the rumors turned to claiming that a power plant sidequest would absolutely, definitely be added in a future update.
  • Nidoqueen and Nidorina cannot breed and have never been able to from the very start, for some unexplained reason. This sparked rumors that you can use a Nidoqueen to breed an incredibly powerful Pokémon if some conditions are met. (Almost every version of this rumor claims that you need a Nidoking as the breeding partner, but can't agree on what the other conditions are.) Game Freak itself has confirmed that this is false; Nidoqueen cannot breed, period. (At least not in the games; the anime is a different story, and they break the rules of the games anyway).
  • Pokémon GO comes with very little in the way of explanation beyond "throw balls at Pokémon to catch them", meaning that speculation is absolutely rife:
    • The game doesn't have evolution stones, so Eevee simply chooses an "eeveelution" randomly when it evolves. Rumors proliferated over how to control or predict its evolution, based on things ranging from Eevee's moveset to the color of the nearest gym. It was eventually discovered that you could control their evolution by naming them Rainer, Sparky, Pyro, Sakura, or Tamao (for Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, and Umbreon respectively) — but only once for each name. Since then, rumors persisted about how you could control its evolution every time, but none have been proven to work.
    • People noticed that the local-area Mon detector flashes green occasionally and suggested that it does so when you are facing the one you've highlighted. That turned out to be its reset animation.
    • One rumor suggested that if you can send Nintendo proof that you're disabled, they'll tweak the settings so that Pokémon would come to you rather than the other way around. Even if that were a thing, you wouldn't contact Nintendo, but rather the game's developer Niantic Labs.
    • A few Pokémon are exclusive to specific continents, so naturally there are rumors about how to get one from some other continent (without trading, which wasn't available at release). Most revolve around doing something tricky with 5km eggs; as they can hatch region-exclusives, people thought might be some bizarre way to make them hatch an exclusive mon from some other part of the world. No such trick has been proven to work, other than hacking your GPS (which is a good way to get banned). The rumors were eventually jossed by Niantic's CEO.
    • One might expect rumors about how to catch legendaries, especially Mew — but such claims were quickly disproven, as it became clear that they cannot spawn normally and have to be event-based. Instead, the rumor mill went wild over Ditto, a non-legendary who was mysteriously absent from the game at release. The sanest theory is that it was region-exclusive to South America (where the game's release was delayed for some time), but this turned out not to be the case. Other ideas range from somewhat believable (a glitch where a Pokémon appears to change species when caught supposedly means it's actually a Ditto) to the strange and convoluted (the first anime episode with Ditto has a rainbow that's missing some colors, but the ones it does have appear as a decorative feature in PoGo's menu, which is part of an elaborate puzzle to make Ditto appear). Ditto was finally added later in an update with the simple gimmick of appearing to be a different Pokémon until after being caught.
    • When the Buddy update came out, some people claimed they occasionally got extra candies, in addition to the normal one every 1, 3, or 5 kilometers. This one appears to be real, though it probably happens completely at random (despite rumors that it's triggered by an egg hatching, or some other unrelated thing), and it's unknown whether the bonus candies are intentional or a bug.
    • Raids, a notorious gambling-style minigame introduced mainly to distribute legendaries, spawned quite a few rumors. Most consisted of bizarre tricks that supposedly increased your chances of catching the target. One of the more persistent myths claimed that you shouldn't press "OK" after catching it because this would reduce the catch rate for other players in the same raid; data-measuring apps showed that the game doesn't even communicate with the server when you press "OK," but this rumor (which conveniently blames the people around you for your own bad RNG) hung around long enough to cause a lot of arguments. Some myths went the opposite direction, with one claiming the legendary could run away before you used up your Premier Balls; if this really happened to someone, it was likely due to a temporary "soft-ban", which makes all mons run away immediately. The numerous real glitches with raids didn't help matters — the claim that you had no chance of catching it on the last ball turned out to be true (mostly — the last ball could only succeed on a rare "critical catch"), and this bug was eventually patched.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: During the game's development, several leaks (primarily those from CoroCoro) stated that Rockruff shares something in common with the starters. Many took this to mean that the starters would have branching evolutions similar to Rockruff/Lycanroc, which would have been a first for the series. This turned out to be a mistranslation and it simply said that they both have secrets, though it is unknown what "secret" the leaks were referring to in the case of the starters.note 
  • Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have the traditional three Pokéballs on the table in Professor Oak's lab. Your starter is in the middle one, and your rival gets the one on the left. The one on the right... never gets used, and examining it only tells you it "contains a Pokémon." In Red and Blue the three Pokémon would be Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander but, of course, in this game you and your rival get Pikachu and Eevee, so the third one could be pretty much any Gen 1 critter. This sparked a lot of speculation about what could be in there, and how you could get your hands on it. There's reason to believe it's a Clefairy, but since there's no way to open it, it's really just a placeholder.

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