Ah, Pokémon. That totally innocent game that captured your childhood and refused to let you free again, much like a Pokeball if they really existed.
Those were simpler times, weren’t they? No taxes to worry about, no rent and no dentist appointments to remember. Just you, 151 Pokémon to catch, eight gym leaders to beat and an Elite Four to topple.
But what if all wasn’t as it seems?
That’s what the guys over at the Pokémon conspiracies subreddit (yes, that’s really what it is) have set out to uncover, sharing tinfoil hat theories with the internet, collectively blowing our minds and then picking up the pieces so they can blow them all over again.
Without further ado, we present to you some of the greatest Pokémon conspiracies of all time.
Psychic Pokémon’s weaknesses are common real-world fears
Every type of Pokémon has weaknesses and strengths, right? Those are the Pokémon basics, the rock-paper-scissors mechanics that you can use to your advantage. Psychic Pokémon’s weakness then are Ghost types, Dark types, and Bug types (which are the fear of ghosts, fear of the dark and fear of bugs, respectively). Such a simple one, but makes so much sense.
Abra thoroughly distrusts humans
After a few initial encounters with Abra in the wild, you quickly learn that it will use the move Teleport, effectively fleeing from battle. It is often, at that level, the only move it knows. The theory follows that because Abra’s immense IQ (supposedly 5000) it knows that you, a trainer, are trying to catch it with a Pokeball. Eventually, it learns to trust its trainer, at which point it evolves into the stronger Kadabra. The final evolution is Alakazam which can only occur when the Pokémon is traded, and the theory suggests that it evolves again to be even stronger, to protect itself from a new, strange trainer.
The separate Pokémon regions are based on areas of Japan
We’ve always wondered if the areas of the map that govern your travels around various Pokémon regions were based on any real world places, or if the whole thing was completely made up. Then we came across this map and basically lost it. It’s almost a perfect match. However, the next games, Pokémon Sun and Moon (from the very small amount of footage that we’ve seen) seems to be based in a tropical region, like Hawaii or somewhere similar. Will that fit this theory?
Why are Brock’s eyes are always closed?
This one’s a bit different. Specifically referring to the anime version of Brock, whose eyes appear to never, ever be open, the theory leans on Greek mythology and Medusa. Upon making contact with someone, her eyes will essentially turn anyone to stone. Hence, Brock training Rock-type Pokémon, because you can’t turn rock to rock again. That, or he's been maced so many times by so many girls that he's damaged beyond repair.
Kabutops is Genesect, 300 million years later
A relatively new theory, but one based on an original Pokemon. The ancient Kabutops’ Pokedex entry reads: “It is thought to have inhabited beaches more than 300 million years ago. It is protected by a stiff shell.” Genesect, a Pokémon introduced in the Black & White games, has a very similar appearance to Kabutops. Its Pokedex entry reads: “Over 300 million years ago, it was feared as the strongest of hunters. It has been modified by Team Plasma.” That’s a very similar period of time, no?
Wally is a ghost and dies after your final battle
Your rival from Ruby/Sapphire, Wally, was sick at the start of the game, recovering with each battle you had. Then, in your final battle at Victory Road, he’s completely fine. He doesn’t mention his illness again. The theory goes that after your final battle, he dies in the cave. His parents helped him make the journey so he could take you on one last time, before the Pokémon League. Every time you battle him from that point on, he’s always in Victory Road, as a ghost. He wasn’t getting better, his symptoms were fading. Nice and upbeat, eh?
Ash still isn’t a day over 10
How could a show that’s run for two decades, still have a lead character at the age of 10? One theory suggests that Ash carrying an everstone in his rucksack (the hold item that prevents Pokémon from evolving) has been keeping him that young this whole time. A lot has to be said about how Brock and Misty are still seemingly the same age, and whether or not eternal 10-year-old Bart Simpson exists in the same universe, but we like this one all the same.
Wobbuffet is actually just a giant airbag
Hear us out. This incredible conspiracy relies on some of the Pokedex’s description about Wobbuffet, so pay attention. “It hates light and shock. If attacked, it inflates its body to pump up its counterstrike. It desperately tries to keep its black tail hidden. It is said to be proof the tail hides a secret.” What can we learn from that, you ask? One user has essentially posed the idea that Wobbuffet’s body is actually the black tail that it tries to keep hidden. The attacks land on the blue ‘body’ of Wobbuffet, which is actually nothing more than an inflatable punching back to keep its tail safe. Like a wacky-waving-inflatable-tube-man.
TMs and HMs are actually just instructional videos
Less of a conspiracy theory, more of an ‘I never realised why that didn’t make sense until now’ moment. The idea was posed that instead of a disc being stuck to a forehead and a new move being magically learned, the discs are actually inserted into the Pokedex and the moves are learned by having the Pokémon study them, much like a demonstration video. Presumably, the idea of having your Pokémon sit through hours of move-learning didn’t translate well to Game Boy (which is fair enough, really) so they used that animation instead.
The catch-all theory that's almost too dark for our childish minds
Ready for a very twisted look at the games that captured your childhood? This one’s very long, so we’ve done our (very) best to shrink it down, but the full post is well worth reading. It plays on the idea of radiation seeping into the world of Pokémon, governing everything from how the creatures are caught to evolution. Essentially:
- Red and Blue are clone children, created by Professor Oak
- Items found on the ground are left by trainers mauled to death by wild Pokemon
- Pokeballs leak radiation. The amount a trainer can safely withstand differs depending on their size (young trainers always carry small Pokémon like Rattata and hikers can manage looking after giants like Onyx)
- Evolution and level gains are radiation transforming the creatures
And you thought we were joking about all these theories ruining your Pokémon innocence.