Video Games have always had a unique way of connecting individuals and one of the most compelling ways in which this is done is with fans sharing their own imaginative experiences and creating their own exciting and mind-blowing secrets and “factual” discoveries. Now 9 times out of 10, these were simply stories, just little pieces of false information that had the desired effect of generating a buzz and hours of additional gameplay as fellow gamers would attempt to initiate these secrets themselves, and those efforts would inspire new stories and it would go on and on. I’m going on a personal mission to dig out these secrets and experiment with them myself, perhaps even bring a few of the lesser known ones into the spotlight.
There’s plenty of places we could begin, but none are perhaps as perfect as Pokémon. A video game series that has birthed countless theories and fan creations, and it’s often proven to create the most excitable theory testing amongst the gaming community. Today I’m going to start in chronological order and go with the very first of the games. One that came at a time when the internet wasn’t prominent and children were playing a game for months before discovering every collectible and hidden passage way. Pokémon Red and Blue created theories ranging from secret Pokémon to death itself, so let’s se what we can find.
Theory Raider #1 – Pokémon Red and Blue
#1 – Bill’s Secret Garden
The Theory – We all remember Pokémon whizz and creator of the Pokémon storage system right? We first meet Bill in the middle of a disastrous error in judgement that has turned him into a Pokémon. The ambitious inventor is a world-renowned Pokémon collector and slowly but surely theories arose that Bill, being the collector that he is, and having the connection that he does with Pokémon, possessed a secret garden that housed the rarest Pokémon, otherwise unobtainable in the colour coded game of your choosing. See depending on Red or Blue, each version had specific Pokémon only available in that version, but apparently Bill’s garden, if found was an all you can eat buffet of Pokémon capturing, containing the most elusive of the 151 creatures.
Theory Requirements – This one largely differed amongst fans, bare in mind these were mostly just stories traded amongst kids in school, so their realism would sometimes leave much to be desired and requirements would often be an overly exaggerated measure. Requirements ranged from something as simple as defeating the Elite Four without a single Pokémon in your party fainting, to collecting all three of the Eeveelutions available at the time (The eclectic type Jolteon, fire type Flareon and water type Vapareon) and having them in your party.
Theory Validity – Unfortunately false. The only method of finding such a garden was trough using a cheat method, and even then, once access had been gained, there were zero Pokémon to be found. This was merely a day-dream alternative to the pesky exclusive Pokémon problem some kids had who could only afford the one game or didn’t have cables to trade with friends across Gameboys.
Theory Creativity – 6/10 – There’s not much to be said about a collector who may have had a secret domain to house his numerous Pokémon, and although a cool idea, it is something you would actually expect Game Freak to do, not as much a surprise.
#2 – Holding Down + B
The Theory – It’s one of the most important moments of any trainers journey, you’ve traversed the toughest mountains and navigated the darkest of caves, you’ve fought countless Zubat and Rattata along the way, and now here you are, face to face with the iconic, legendary creature you’ve so desperately sought. You cautiously save the game a few times just to be sure, then you take a few large steps forward and accept the challenge before you, you’re in the heat of a battle, battling a Pokémon you’ve been working so hard to obtain, spending hour upon hour grinding your own Pokémon to become strong enough to sustain any kind of challenge, yet you’ve failed so many times now you wonder what it will take, you manage to reduce your opponents HP to its last pixellated slither, and you remember suddenly, the story your friend told you just this morning on the playground. He tells you that by holding down and the B button at the same time, your chances of catching a Pokémon greatly increase. Now before you would have laughed at him, told him that’s just some silly superstition, but now you’re deseperate, you throw your last Pokeball, and immediately hold down the buttons, a bead of sweet travelling down your face as the ball shakes once, twice, three times, and in that final moment before capture, time itself slows down, the ball remains motionless and finally, it clicks, the music begins to play, confirming your victory and realisation sets in that you’ve done it. From that day on you swear by the button combination and despite numerous failures since, you still use it.
Theory Requirements – Simply put, hold down and the B button at the same time, as soon as you throw a Pokeball, and you don’t let them go.
Theory Validity – This is purely speculation, and although a feature across every game, it did originate here first. Now failure would actually occur 8/10 but that was met with inevitable accusations of “you did it wrong”, and that would be that.
Theory Creativity – 6/10 – As far as something that would bolster a players confidence, it’s a nice superstition to live by, and when it works, you really believe it works, if it doesn’t… then maybe next time.
#3 – Pikablu
The Theory – As the name suggests, this theory centres around a blue variant of Pikachu, but what was it? A glitched Pikachu? A shiny Pikachu? Or a genuine one in a kind Pikachu that only your friend could see and knew for sure existed? Well nobody knew for sure, nothing was clear, other than that this needed an explanation.
Theory Requirements – There wasn’t one universally agreed upon requirement, and so it could never be determined what was a sure-fire way of obtaining this rarest of specimens.
Theory Validity – Well… here’s the thing. This Pokémon does exist technically, but it’s better known as Marill. A second generation creature leaked early before Gold and Silver were announced, thus leading to some opportune theory seekers creating some absolute gold out of this.
Theory Creativity – 8/10 – Even though Marill doesn’t really look like a Pikachu, it didn’t stop people from believing it was still a variant in some form or another.
#4 – Mew’s Secret Location
The Theory – There were many theories about Mew and it’s availability, but this one was the best, and saw the most debate, even inspiring a mod that actually made it very much a reality. Anyway the theory here is that Mew was hidden conveniently under a very suspiciously placed truck near the S.S. Anne, at no other point in the game would you see one, and this one had no interactive features about it, that is until somebody claimed that there was one specific method that could be used to stir the Mew beneath it.
Theory Requirements – The most commonly agreed requirement was that only a Pokémon that knew strength could move the truck, and only then could you initiate a battle with Mew, another much more precise theory was that only a Level 100 Pokémon that had been entered into the Elite Four’s Hall of Fame could move the truck.
Theory Validity – As I said before, there’s only one way of doing this, and this is through playing a mod, otherwise unfortunately, there’s no way of moving that truck, making its placement as much a mystery now than ever before.
Theory Creativity – 7/10 – It’s awesome that such a random element to the game could be used to harbour one of the more popular theories, and it’s equally frustrating that there was never actually any purpose to the truck.
#5 – Killing a Rival’s Pokémon
The Theory – Here’s where things take a bit of a darker tone, see during your journey on the S.S. Anne, you battle your rival, and you don’t see him again until you arrive in Lavender Town, when you enter the Pokémon Tower, you are confronted by your rival, who less than subtly asks you if you’ve ever had to bury a Pokémon. To add to this, you’ll find that since your last battle on the boat, your rival is minus one Pokémon. It is implied that after your battle, your rival was unable to leave the boat and get to a Pokémon centre in time, and so his Raticate dies. He buries it at the Pokémon tower, and you arrive just in time to beat up the rest of his team some more. So good job.
Theory Requirements – Simply put, you just have to beat your Rival on the S.S. Anne and meet up with him later on at the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town. Considering it’s a part of the plot, it will happen naturally as you progress.
Theory Valdity – Nothing is confirmed, nobody ever outright said that your rivals Raticate died on that boat, but seeing him at a Pokémon graveyard and minus one of his Pokémon was definitely enough evidence to suggest that something dire may well have happened.
Theory Creativity – 9/10 – As far as connecting the dots, it’s really quite the implication and it’s a telling factor of Pokémon’s underlying mature tones.
#6 – MissingNo
The Theory – Here’s one of the most well-known theories amongst gamers across the board, perhaps because this one has actually been proven as not only a theory but huge glitch. Game breaking levels of glitch. MissingNo would appear as a Pokémon, and any attempt to capture it would lead to your game going crazy, a pixelated mess unless you were lucky enough to avoid all of that, but this was a rare occurrence.
Theory Requirements – MissingNo was a complex beast of misinformation and scrambled data, there’s one particular area in Cinnabar Island that incorrectly pulled information and so after going through the Old Man’s tutorial in Veridian City, then travelling immediately to Cinnabar Island, the game would fail hugely in compiling data and would instead bring to life MissingNo.
Theory Validity – Completely true. An underestimation by Game Freak that created one of the most beloved game breakers in gaming.
Theory Creativity – N/A – Can’t really rate a theory here considering it’s a glitch that was discovered and confirmed. It does belong on this list however.
Now, that is just a selection of theories from Pokémon Red and Blue, the first of many, and just the beginning of our theory raiding. Pokémon is very good for this kind of thing just for its sheer variety in actual theories, the ones coming up continue this trend in a big, big way.
Image – Game Freak