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Web Animation / The Pokémon Game Show

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Game Show created and hosted by Greg Wicker, usually known as "Greggo", which debuted in January 2013. It didn't air on TV, however, but rather was played at Anime-themed conventions. Various episodes can be viewed on Greggo's YouTube channel.

As the name might suggest, it's a game show themed around Pokémon (both the anime and the games). Four contestants enter, with three eliminated as the game progresses, leaving one to face the Champion and possibly have him/herself programmed into the game software.


So how does it work? Well, every round is played on a board of 30 numbered squares:

  • Round 1 is one of several games. Usually, the first three players to earn one or two points move on. Players earn points by playing the board, but to play the board they have to correctly answer a jump-in question (general trivia, identify a Pokémon from its Pokédex entry, or a series of clues to something related to the franchise). Games used in this round have included:
    • Super Effective - Given a Pokémon, find a move on the board that in the games is, well, super effective against that Pokémon. First three to do that twice move on.
    • Who's Whose? - The first question is always to identify a Pokémon by its silhouette (cue audience shouting "Who's that Pokémon?" in unison). Then, given that Pokémon, find its trainer on the board (four different ones, each showing up roughly the same number of times). First three to get two move on.
    • The Fast Track - Six Pokémon appear in each of the five rows of the board, with each instance of the same Pokémon connecting either vertically or diagonally with the previous. Find all five of the same Pokémon once to move on.
    • Make Your Move - Find two words that, together, create the name of a Pokémon move. First three to do so twice move on.
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    • Voltorb Sweeper - Essentially Minesweeper in reverse: in up to two picks, try to find one of seven Voltorbs. Blank space ends your turn; a number indicates how many Voltorbs touch it orthogonally (but not diagonally) and gives the contestant one more chance to find a Voltorb. First three to find two Voltorbs move on. (Unlike in other games, the board remained open until a Voltorb was found, at which point all squares opened to that point were locked off.)
    • Hot Potato - No, not the Bill Cullen show of the same name; this is more akin to Pass the Buck, another Cullen-hosted show: the player in the first position selects one of the squares to pick a question with multiple correct answers. Greggo reads the question (giving an example answer) and the contestants, in turn, give answers until one of them either gives a wrong answer, repeats an answer (they may give the example if they so desire), or runs out of time. Whoever loses a question earns a strike, but also gets to select and start the next one; the first player to receive three strikes is eliminated. (If all of the answers are given, no one gets a strike, and the next contestant in line picks and starts the next question.)
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    • Movin' On Up - A variation on the Super Effective game. Each space hides a Pokémon type. The contestant picks two spaces; if the first type is super effective against the second, the contestant can either accept one point or continue their turn by selecting another space; in the latter case, if they find a type that the second one beats, they earn two points; if not, they earn no points and all the doors are closed. First three to three points move on.

  • Round 2 was always Evolution Match. As before, buzzing in with a correct answer to a question allows that person to play the board. In this round, 25 Pokémon are on the board, all in groups of their evolution chains: five chains of two Pokémon and five chains of three. Within each evolution chain, all Pokémon touch either horizontally or vertically on the board (so a group of three can also be in an L shape). While playing the board, that player keeps picking so long as they continue matching Pokémon in the same chain, and upon completing the chain captures those Pokémon. The other five squares contain the Team Rocket "R" symbol, which costs that player a Pokémon if they have any. The first two to get six Pokémon move on.

  • Round 3 has the last two players challenge the Elite Four. The right to begin for each bout is determined by a question. The object is to find moves that are super effective against each of two Pokémon (in order). The players alternate turns until someone manages to do that, winning the bout. The first player to win three bouts wins free admission to that convention next year, and plays the Championship for the right to be programmed into the game software.

  • The Championship is played by the last remaining player. The board now contains 23 moves and seven K.O. squares (originally 24 moves and six K.O.'s). The Championship takes the form of a mock Pokémon battle, three-on-three. Finding a move either does 1 HP of damage to the Champion's current Pokémon (if it's not super-effective against that Pokémon) or beats that Pokémon outright (if it's super effective; seven of the moves on the board will be super effective against at least one Pokémon, and each Pokémon will have at least one move on the board that will deal them a One-Hit KO), with each of the Champion's Pokémon having 4 HP. Finding a K.O., however, removes one of the challenger's Pokémon. The first side to K.O. all three of the other's Pokémon gets or keeps the championship - and in the case of the challenger, that person got his/her likeness programmed into the game software for that convention, complete with their own selection of three Pokémon for the next challenger to face. (Originally, if a convention did not have a champion as of yet, Iris from the Unova arc in the anime was the default champion; Greggo later updated his software to the X & Y era, which meant the default champion was Diantha, and still later updated it to the Sun & Moon era).

The show ended in 2018 when Greggo announced his retirement.

Game Show Tropes, I choose you!

  • Bonus Round: The Championship.
  • Bonus Space: In Round 2, Pikachu appeared on the board. If a player found him and made a match on the same turn, that player was protected from his or her next Team Rocket selection (however, Pikachu didn't count towards the requisite six). While Pikachu was active, the player he was protecting would have a crocheted Pikachu doll next to him or her. Pikachu debuted at San Japan 2015; the first episode uploaded that featured him on the board is Tsubasacon 2015.
  • Lifelines: In the Hot Potato game in Round 1, each player was allowed one "free pass", where they could pass their turn with no penalty. In addition, seven additional free passes were hidden on the board; the player selecting one then picked again until they got a question.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Quickly became a test of memory, but at the beginning of each round there's little or no information known. More prominent in the Championship Round, where once a box was opened it stayed opened since its effect happened immediately.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Multi-time game show contestant Josh Woo, on at least one occasion.
    • Game Show Host: Greggo, who wore a white coat for these shows and was quickly nicknamed "Professor Wicker". Not too surprising, since the anime/game Professors' last names (Oak, Birch, Elm, etc.) have a tree/wood theme to them.
    • Studio Audience: Usually consisting of convention-goers.
  • Retired Game Show Element: The Motaku 2014 episode debuted a question type which required the contestants to guess the Pokédex number of a given Pokémon as on The Price Is Right. Said questions were retired after Round 1 of that show.
  • Rules Spiel: The round explanations, which were likely the first time the contestants were told about the rules.
  • Whammy:
    • The Team Rocket "R" in Round 2 (which made you lose a point).
    • "Miss" symbols in Round 3 (which made you waste your turn).
      • Starting with the Japan Expo 2013 episode, Round 3 also featured a "Splash" symbol with a Magikarp. Basically, it's a re-skinned "Miss" since Splash is never super-effective.
    • K.O. symbols in the Championship (three of them, and you lose).

Trope examples... GO!

  • Bragging Rights Reward: Not for winning the main game, since that had somewhat more immediate value (even if it was a year from then), but winning the Championship Round meant your face got programmed into the game control, and you could pick your own set of three Pokémon to be featured.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • On the first two episodes, the Elite Four round only lasted four bouts, and the player who won the Evolution Match got the option of going first or second to start the round. On the second episode, it ended in a tie, so both players won the convention admission and played a modified version of the Championship Round: the player who K.O.'ed the Champion's last Pokémon won, and each player had their own stock of three lives. For the rest of the series, the right to start each bout was determined by a trivia question, and if the score went to 2-2, Red from the games was the opponent for a fifth bout.
    • Early episodes started the Evolution Match round by showing one Pokémon briefly before the first turn.
  • Epic Fail:
    • One contestant selected the same Team Rocket square three times during the Evolution Match. Greggo frequently referred to this occurrence afterward.
    • Another contestant in the Elite Four round picked the same box containing Splash twice in the same round.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: What were you expecting from something called The Pokémon Game Show, a soap opera about Inuyasha?
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Anime St. Louis 2013 episode had a then-19-year-old girl named Danielle who was cosplaying as Pikachu, and basically annoyed the crap out of everyone in the room. note  As the game went on, she tried everyone's patience more and more (Greggo included) by saying random stuff and making sounds into the mic at various times (such as when Greggo was explaining the rules) and generally distracting the other players (she kept hitting one of them in the back of the head with glow sticks). Much to the consternation of everyone in the audience, she was the day's winner, but then karma came back and bit her hard in the Championship as she found three K.O.'s in her first three picks.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: When a new Champion picked their three Pokémon for next year's winner to face, each Pokémon had to have at least one weakness (type of move which is super-effective). The very few Pokémon who have no weaknesses were thus disallowed.
  • Running Gag: A few that appeared in Round 2.
    • During the rules explanation, Greggo usually mentioned that Pikachu and its evolutionary chain would not show up on the board because Team Rocket has never been able to steal Pikachu, until he started putting Pikachu up as a Bonus Space.
      • He'd also mention Eevee and its evolutions are never on the Round 2 board, because "we can't/won't be here all day."
    • Greggo would usually do an impression of Wobbuffet if it showed up on the board.
    • If Rattata was uncovered, Greggo would usually say something to the effect of "I wonder if it's in the top 10 percent of all Rattata? Is Joey in the audience?"
    • If one box got isolated (due to the boxes touching it going across or up-and-down all having Pokémon behind them), Greggo would usually say "Gee, I wonder what's behind #X?" (Occasionally, since adding Pikachu to the board, if he hadn't been found yet, he might point out that the isolated box could be Pikachu.)
    • If a contestant got to exactly 5 points in Round 2, Greggo will usually say that they have "Rocket insurance", since you could still guarantee advancement in one turn even if you found Team Rocket (you'd fall back to 4, but you could only score points two or three at a time).
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Danielle, again, when she won her game, although in fairness she did give her defeated opponent a hug afterwards. Seeing as she had been annoying everyone all show long, seeing her lose the Championship Round in the first three picks was quite satisfying.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: If you won the Championship Round, then you became the Champion (each convention had its own) and it's your face that stared down the next challenger with your three Pokémon they had to beat.


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