We at WASDuk do enjoy a good fan theory. Although sometimes downright weird or far fetched, a good fan theory can capture the imagination and enhance a game, maybe even improve on it. The larger a game’s universe the more theories can spring up, obviously. The world of Pokemon is constantly expanding and with it new theories spring up right along with it. So join us on a nostalgic look at some classic theories, for those who fancy a trip down memory lane and for those who stopped paying attention after the Pokerap lasted longer than a cut scene in Metal Gear Solid. In what is probably a WASDuk first there are no spoilorz, unless of course you haven’t gotten around to playing Pokemon Blue/Red yet, in which case we gonna have problems. Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below, but be warned, any argument that starts with ‘nuuuurrrr actually,’ will be given all the consideration it deserves.
If Pokemon theories are your thing, check out the Reddit community that is utterly devoted to them for some delicious tidbits to get your teeth into. Onwards!
#10 Killing Blue’s Raticate
Maybe it’s because we are cold, unfeeling monsters but we never got all that attached to our Rattata even if it was the first Pokemon we caught. There were only two Pokemon we could have caught anyway and we did so out of obligation more than desire, Rattata is basically cannon fodder until we have enough Pokemon to make a team without it and banish it to the realms of cyber space, not like that Pidgey we caught. Fuck yeah, Pidgey.
But our erstwhile rival Blue has a special place in his heart for that first Pokemon he caught on his own, poor sentimental fool that he is, and raises his Rattata and subsequent Raticate with love and care. Blue’s lineup changes very little throughout the game until his Raticate disappears from his team. After facing Blue on the SS Anne your next encounter reveals that Raticate has been dropped even though he still has room for more Pokemon. So where did Raticate go?
The theory goes that actually you killed it. When you battle Blue on the SS Anne you are at sea, on a bustling luxury liner, far from a Pokemon Centre and thus the necessary medical attention. After wounding Raticate Blue has no where to take it to heal it up, so naturally it dies, probably in his arms to make it a little more poignant. The next time you face Blue he’s in Lavender Town, you know the town known for it’s Pokemon graveyard, standing by a gravestone. When he sees you he challenges you to a battle, but with a rather conspicuous gap in his party after asking you if you know what it’s like to have a Pokemon die. Well maybe not the last part, but it’s become part and parcel of the theory regardless of his actual dialogue.
Alternatively he dropped Raticate because it’s a Raticate, and it sucks. The thing learns three attacks in Generation 1, three. And two of them are variations on ‘Bite’. Blue reveals he’s at Lavender Town to catch a Cubone so he probably traded out his lameass Raticate in favour of a badass Cubone. Fuck yeah, Cubone.
#9 Ditto is a failed Mew experiment
Ditto weighs 8.8 lbs, Mew weighs 8.8 lbs. Ditto is a weird, shiny pink colour, Mew is a weird, shiny pink colour. Ditto knows ‘Transform’ as standard. Mew knows ‘Transform’ as standard. Ditto can learn every move in Pokemon. Mew can learn every move in Pokemon. Need I go on?
Well I will. Game and movies show that scientists on Cinnebar Island were engaged in a project to clone the legendary Pokemon Mew from a Mew fossil. There are references to ‘failed’ experiments, while Mewtwo is referred to as the ‘successful’ clone. In later games, Ditto can mostly be found around Cinnebar Island and near the location of Mewtwo. As well as this Mew contains the DNA of every Pokemon, a trait apparently evident in Ditto when you dump it in the daycare centre to breed it with anything and everything (like you don’t).
Ditto apparently is Mew, but unable to hold its form as its molecules are so unstable. Gamefreak have since weighed in and said that they consider each of the Pokemon unique and any similarities between the two are entirely coincidental. So take that imaginative fans! Stop thinking and start taking things at face value, that’ll teach you for noticing neat little tidbits and working stories around them. Let’s not even think about how a Ditto that gets polluted loses the ability to transform, becoming a pile of sludge could be a Grimer! Nope, stop thinking!
#8 Pokemon fear abandonment
Some Pokemon evolve when they reach a certain level. Makes sense, the more experience they accumulate the greater they become until they can cast off the shackles of their original form and become a more improved creature. Others evolve after being exposed to the mystical properties of evolutionary stones. While some evolve when their friendship level has reached a certain point because they’re happy enough to evolve in your company, your friendship is so important to them that they want to become stronger for you, some evolve specifically through trade. But a traded Pokemon that doesn’t evolve upon trading will still evolve faster than their non traded peers, as they will earn double experience in battle. Why does this happen?
Picture the scene. You’re a Pokemon. You travel around with your trainer, they put you through your paces in battle to bring out the best in you, they rush to nurse you back to health if you’re hurt or wearied, they feed you vitamins and even the occasional candy to cheer you up, hell in later games a trainer can even cook poffins that appeal to the Pokemon’s individual tastes and, of course, you are considered the best of friends, buddies with an unbreakable bond of trust and friendship that will last through the ages. Until your trainer wants a different Pokemon, then it’s pack your bags and ship out, you’re being traded mes amis, you have a new trainer now, best not get on their wrong side or what’s to stop them ditching you too?
The theory goes that traded Pokemon are so afraid of being abandoned once again that they will do anything to keep you happy, evolving faster than the rest of your team because they want to impress you. Of course if the Pokemon is too high a level it won’t obey you in battle and act out, because they’re upset and angry at humans. Rejected by their trainer they won’t warm to you until you can prove that you are worth their time, because what’s the point, you’ll probably dump them when someone offers you something better too. Trainers, pfft you’re all the same.
#7 Ash is in a coma
Specific to the anime series Pokemon, this theory suggests that, with the exception of the introductory sequences of the first episode, the entire saga is playing out inside the comatose mind of the protagonist. Kids can venture into a world filled with nominally hostile creatures without protection, because they don’t actually pose a threat. Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny recur in every town and village in every world map because they’re the only two professionals Ash has ever come into contact with. Team Rocket’s schemes are increasingly ludicrous and bizarre because they are the product of a child’s imagination, constantly dreaming.
This theory is particularly in depth with every element of the series used to describe an element of Ash’s psyche. The lovesick Brock represents his unexplored sexuality, Misty is the feminine aspects of his character and an exploration of a potential relationship, Team Rocket are his negative qualities while Giovanni is his menacing father figure, even the narrator is accounted for; acting as his higher brain functions recounting what he has faced so far and how far he has to go. Still with me? The theory goes as far as to explain the role of individual Pokemon; e.g. his sex drive is Charmander which although easily controlled to begin with, becomes the raging and unpredictable Charizard.
The longer Ash remains in his fantasy world, the more the real world slips away from him. Early references to normal, real world animals are replaced overwhelmingly by Pokemon. Pokemon also fulfill everyday functions; electric types are used a source of power, water types assist firefighters and so on. Of course the notion that an entire franchise for kids is playing out in the comatose mind of the protagonist is a little dark and far-fetched (no pun intended) but it makes for an interesting read nonetheless.
You can read the whole theory here.
#6 Slowpoke is omniscient
Slowpoke are, as the name suggests, pretty slow. Largely unresponsive to the world around them they nonetheless evolve into two of the more intelligent Pokemon around. One theory suggests that Slowpoke is not slow because it is inherently stupid, but actually because it is omniscient and simply cannot process the sheer amount of information flowing through its mind.
While most Pokemon evolutions simply have the Pokemon becoming something else, the Slowpoke evolutions have little physiological change and instead just show a normal Slowpoke with a Shellder attached to it; in the case of Slowbro by its tail and with Slowking by its head. In the former, the Shellder’s bite grounds the Slowpoke, giving it something physical to focus on, while in the case of Slowking, the Shellder’s venom causes a reaction in the Slowpoke’s brain allowing it hyper intelligence and considerable power. If the Shellder ever falls off either of them, the Slowpoke will return to it’s dim witted self, unable to filter the mass of information floating through its mind.
#5 Digimon are corrupted Pokemon
The similarities between Digimon and Pokemon go far beyond the suffix -mon, most notably that both feature small ‘monsters’ with elemental attributes which can evolve into better versions of themselves. Somehow, Pokemon can be stored digitally, when you’re not battling with them a Pokemon can be put into a PC and accessed from any PC in the world. In the anime series, Professor Oak is seen to send Ash Pokemon from his lab in Pallet town to wherever Ash happens to be, the Pokemon crosses vast distances through a computer. When you release a Pokemon it is released from the computer rather than from the trainer, physically. If these Pokemon can be stored digitally then the opportunity surely exists for them to suffer the same problems that all computers face, namely that they can get viruses and files can become corrupted.
The theory suggests that the Digimon universe taps into the corrupted Pokemon files. Digimon are not exact copies of the initial Pokemon because they can be formed from numerous corrupted files. Evolution is sporadic and uncontrolled with the Digimon often returning to its original form after the fact because it is too unstable to maintain the evolution. It also explains why some Digimon look darker than Pokemon, their more wholesome counterparts, with these Digimon generally sporting torn clothing and marked skin. The question remains though, where is the Digimon universe in relation to that of Pokemon, because they aren’t comparable. Theories suggest that they may be parallel universes or even that Digimon is the world of Pokemon in the future. Either way the fact remains that when those digitised Pokemon are released from their PC box, they have to go somewhere…
#4 The Cubone – Marowak – Kangaskhan link
Probably one of the more popular fan theories suggests that initially Marowak was supposed to evolve into a Kangaskhan before developers decided to make Kangaskhan a Pokemon without an evolutionary tree and removed that aspect from the game. If true, it would explain a lot about Cubone’s origins. After all, in each Pokedex Cubone is described as wearing the skull of its mother, which in this case is the adult Kangaskhan – making Cubone the baby in its pouch. While wearing the mother’s skull a Cubone will evolve into a Marowak, otherwise the baby Kangaskhan will grow normally into an adult Kangaskhan, have a baby and the cycle continues unless the adult dies.
Most of this theory is drawn from the original sprites which show visual similarities between the baby Kangaskhan and a Cubone, however there is more! Dum Dum Duuuuuuuuum! Pokemon Red/Blue was apparently programmed to contain the evolution of Marowak into a Kangaskhan, but the relevant codes were moved around rather than deleted after the decision was changed. That data manifests itself in MissingNo which if evolved becomes a Kangaskhan. Not that anyone ever bothers evolving it, you only caught it to get those 99 rare candys.
#3 Man-made Pokemon
The idea of man-made Pokemon is hardly radical these days, not when a number of more recent Pokemon are actually created artificially as a matter of canon. Generation III Pokemon Castform was created specifically to predict the weather; weather balloons seemingly too great an expense for the Pokemon universe, they choose to create a sentient lifeform to tell them if they really will need that jumper after all. But back in the day, the long gone Generation I day, there was just the one canon man-made Pokemon; Porygon, an experiment between Silph Co. and some scientists. (Yes, ok, and Mewtwo but they were aiming to clone and enhance and existing Pokemon not create an entirely unique creature like what we’re talking about here).
Some Pokemon were created by man as the result of an accident; Grimer and Muk were created from human pollution and genetic waste, Voltorb and Electrode are the result of a malfunction in the Pokeball factory but there’s also a theory that Koffing and Weezing are the result of a failed Team Rocket experiment. Not as inept as their anime representatives; Jessie and James, actual Team Rocket is pretty competent and, when not trying to capture a rather common electric rat, are engaged in some serious Pokemon research. In an attempt to create a ghost type Pokemon, Team Rocket ended up creating Koffing and Weezing as they required a physical form to contain the gas they were using. The two Pokemon are mostly found in Pokemon mansion, an abandoned Pokemon laboratory, while they also display that rather human symbol for poison, not to mention that Weezing looks so depressed, like it shouldn’t be…
#2 Pokemon cries formed language
It’s the age old question; can a Pokemon only say its name or is its name the only thing a Pokemon can say. We’ll just leave you alone in a dark room to think about that one. Classic chicken and the egg argument, endlessly circular and never resolved. Yet there are those that believe that Pokemon cries influenced the human language. After all Pokemon and humans have co existed for years, since the dawn of history apparently and so it would make sense that Pokemon would have influenced the ways in which people would have communicated with each other.
Instead of Charmander being so named because of it’s fiery abilities, the theory puts a backwards spin on this and suggests that we have the word ‘char’ from seeing a Charmander in action. The same can be said of numerous other Pokemon, we get the word ‘squirt’ from seeing Squirtle’s water gun, ‘dig’ from ground type Diglett and ‘haunt’ from the obvious;
Gengar Haunter. Humans forming words for the first time would have heard the Pokemon’s cries and naturally integrated them into their language. Though you’d think after so long in each other’s company Pokemon might have been able to say a few other things.
#1 The Pokemon War
Men are conspicuous by their absence in the world of Pokemon. You have no father, your best friend is an orphan, every male you meet is either a child, an old man, or involved with the military/organised crime (we always figured those Rocket Grunts were gangly, awkward teens ourselves). But men of the age that your father would have been are far and few between. Children are allowed to venture into the world as though they were adults themselves and there is a Pokemon hospital in every. single. town.
Lt. Surge confirms that there was indeed a war, but the theory expands on the sheer impact of such a conflict. For a start all the houses look cheap and cheerful, almost as though they were constructed quickly and simply. You see the occasional car or truck, but you never see one operating so there is obviously some kind of fuel shortage and one that happened recently or automobiles would never have created as there would have been nothing to sustain them. Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are clones of each other, made to believe that they are sisters, but created so that they could attend the wounded on the battle field and keep law and order even as the human population suffered. Pokemon of course would have been central to the war, and the theory goes that many Pokemon were created for the sole purpose of fighting it, especially the legendaries which were synthesised as the ultimate super weapons, but so powerful there could only be one of each. The notion that they are ‘legendary’ is perpetuated by society to ensure that your average trainer stay away from military wmds that cannot be captured by your average Pokeball.
Your generation is the first one to live in peace, and your quest to fill the Pokedex is simply an errand from Professor Oak (old warmonger Oak as he used to be known in some circles) to create an inventory of their sentient experimental weapons they let out into the wild.
Giving up on her life long ambition of becoming a Pokemon master, fantaesque instead decided to become a Pokemon breeder. After being told she couldn’t leave her dog and a cockerel in her local nursery…again, she was eventually briefly imprisoned after a failed attempt to breed a silverback gorilla and a computer monitor, but allowed out after she put on hell of a show teaching cockroaches to battle each other.