Feb. 27 marks the twentieth anniversary of the popular video game franchise, “Pokémon.” Short for “Pocket Monsters,” this titan of Nintendo gaming has produced everything from popular video games you’ve spent days alone playing to collectible card games, several feature films and a lengthy animated series that is still on the air. However, even after twenty years, there are still some hidden secrets that even the very best Pokémon masters may not have picked up on until now.
1) Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan descend from Martial Arts royalty – Two extremely popular fighting-type Pokémon, Hitmonlee, and Hitmonchan, are both named after two of the most popular martial artists of all time. The well known “kicking demon” Hitmonlee, derives its’ name from the legendary Hong Kong martial artist and action film actor, Bruce Lee. Whereas his boxing counterpart, Hitmonchan, is a tribute to other legendary Hong Kong martial artist, Jackie Chan. Both actors displayed their prowess through different martial arts, so it was only fair that these two Pokémon battle with unique fighting styles.
2) Drowzee ties into Japanese folklore – The “Hypnosis” Pokémon, Drowzee, is known to fill its’ appetite by eating the dreams of its’ opponents. While that does seem like a rather strange way to cure the munchies, it does tie into Japanese folklore. Drowzee’s appearance resembles that of a tapir, a large, herbivore that’s very similar in shape to a pig and has with a short elephant-like snout. According to Japanese legend, tapirs love to eat both dreams and nightmares. That being said, could it be possible that nightmares are the dream equivalent to spicy food?
3) The Master Ball’s “little secret” – Pokémon trainers from any generation can appreciate the legendary Master Ball, the only Poké Ball that boasts a 100% successful capture rate. However, according to Bulbapedia’s chart of capture rates with various Poké Balls, the Master Ball has a 1 in 65536 chance of failing. While the chances are very minimal, it goes to show that nothing, not even an item with the highest catch rate, is guaranteed when you battle with a wild Pokémon.
4) Koffing and Weezing were almost American-based – The Smog Pokémon, Koffing, along with its’ evolved form Weezing, were almost named after two popular cities in the United States. Koffing’s original name would’ve been “Ny” and “La.” Those are actually initials for U.S. cities New York and Los Angeles, who themselves boast high smog rates among other U.S. cities. With two new Pokémon games coming out in 2016, could we see a wind monster named “Chi” after the self-professed “Windy City?”
5) Pokémon’s “shocking” Guinness World Record – Pokémon superfan Belle Starenchak once held the Guinness World Record for most Pikachu collectibles, but that can’t compare to Pokémon’s more notorious world record. It holds the record in the 2008 edition of the world record book for “Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures Caused by a Television Show,” following an unaired Japanese episode in the 1997 episode, “Dennō Senshi Porigon.” During a battle in cyberspace, several seconds featured a series of flashing lights, leading to over 700 cases of epileptic seizures in Japan. It may not be as glorious as the McGuire Twins’ accolade, but a world record is still a world record.
Did we miss some even lesser known secrets from Pokémon in the past twenty years? Let us know in the comments below.