Pokémon (ポケモン Pokémon) is a media franchise owned by Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri around 1995. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games, Pokémon has since become the second most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, falling only behind Nintendo's Mario series. Pokémon properties have since been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and other media. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary on February 27, 2006, and as of December 1, 2006, cumulative sold units of the video games (including home console versions, such as the "Pikachu" Nintendo 64) have reached more than 155 million copies.
The name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand, (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā), as such contractions are very common in Japan. The term "Pokémon", in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 649 Pokémon species that have made appearances in Pokémon media as of the most recent Pokémon role-playing games (RPGs) for the Nintendo DS, Pokémon Black and White. Like the words deer and sheep, the singular and plural forms of the word "Pokémon" do not differ, nor does each individual species name; in short, it is grammatically correct to say both "one Pokémon" and "many Pokémon". Nintendo originally translated Poketto Monsutā literally, but a naming conflict with the Monster in My Pocket toy line caused Nintendo to rebrand the franchise as "Pokémon." The game's catchphrase in the Japanese language versions of the franchise is "Let's Get Pokémon!" (ポケモンGETだぜ! Pokemon Getto Daze); in English language versions of the franchise, it was originally "Gotta catch 'em all!", although it is now no longer officially used except in the sidestory episodes airing under the name Pokémon Chronicles.
Collecting and playing
The concept of the Pokémon universe, in both the video games and the general fictional world of Pokémon, stems from the hobby of insect collecting, a popular pastime which Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri had enjoyed as a child. Players of the games are designated as Pokémon Trainers, and the two general goals (in most Pokémon games) for such Trainers are: to complete the Pokédex by collecting all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where that game takes place; and to train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers, and eventually become the strongest Trainer, the Pokémon Master. These themes of collecting, training, and battling are present in almost every version of the Pokémon franchise, including the video games, the anime and manga series, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
In most incarnations of the fictional Pokémon universe, a Trainer that encounters a wild Pokémon is able to capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible tool called a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, that Pokémon is officially considered under the ownership of that Trainer, and it will obey whatever commands its new master and/or friend (depending on how that trainer treats Pokémon in general) issues to it from that point onward, unless the Trainer demonstrates enough of a lack of experience that the Pokémon would rather act on its own accord. Trainers can send out any of their Pokémon to wage non-lethal battles against Pokémon; if the opposing Pokémon is wild, the Trainer can capture that Pokémon with a Poké Ball, increasing his or her collection of creatures. (Pokémon already owned by other Trainers cannot be captured, except under special circumstances in certain games.) If a Pokémon fully defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out ("faints"), the winning Pokémon gains experience and may level up. When leveling up, the Pokémon's statistics ("stats") of battling aptitude increase, including Attack, Speed, and so on. From time to time the Pokémon may also learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many species of Pokémon possess the ability to undergo a form of metamorphosis and transform into a similar but stronger species of Pokémon. This is a process called evolution.
In the main series, each game's single-player mode requires the Trainer to raise a team of Pokémon to defeat many non-player character Trainers and their Pokémon. Each game lays out a somewhat linear path through a specific region of the Pokémon world for the Trainer to journey through, completing events and battling opponents along the way. Each game features eight especially powerful Trainers, referred to as Gym Leaders, that the Trainer must each defeat in order to progress. As a reward, the Trainer receives a Gym Badge, and once all eight badges are collected, that Trainer is eligible to challenge the region's Pokémon League, where four immensely talented trainers (referred to collectively as the "Elite Four") challenge the Trainer to four Pokémon battles in succession. If the trainer can overcome this gauntlet, he or she must then challenge the Regional Champion, the master Trainer who had previously defeated the Elite Four. Any Trainer who wins this last battle becomes the new champion and gains the title of Pokémon Master.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros.In Super Smash Bros., two Pokémon are playable characters — the popular Pikachu and Jigglypuff. A Pokémon stage is also in the game, named Saffron City.
Super Smash Bros. MeleeIn Super Smash Bros. Melee, four Pokémon are playable characters — the returning characters Pikachu and Jigglypuff plus Pichu, and Mewtwo. Two Pokémon stages are in the game — Pokémon Stadium and Poké Floats.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Pikachu and Jigglypuff are once again playable, along with Lucario, and Pokémon Trainer, who uses Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard when fighting. There are three Pokémon stages in the game - Pokémon Stadium 2, Spear Pillar, and Melee's Pokémon Stadium
Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
Wii U Version
In the Wii U Version, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Lucario, Charizard (Split from Pokemon Trainer) and Mewtwo (DLC) are all returning veterans from Brawl. In this game Greninja from 'Pokémon X and Y' joins Smash Bros. The Pokémon stages for Smash Bros. Wii U are Kalos Pokémon League and Pokémon Stadium 2.
- Not counting Mario spinoffs, Pokemon is the only franchise that has had a new representative in every iteration.
- Tobin, Joseph, ed. Pikachu's Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokémon. Duke University Press., February, 2004. ISBN 0-8223-3287-6.
- ↑ Boyes, Emma (2007-01-10). UK paper names top game franchises. GameSpot. GameSpot UK. Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
- ↑ Behrens, Matt (2006-12-01). Nintendo sales through end of November revealed. N-Sider. N-Sider Media. Retrieved on 2006-12-01.
- ↑ Swider, Matt. The Pokemon Series Pokedex @ Gaming Target. Gaming Target. Gaming Target. Retrieved on 2007-02-28.
- ↑ "The Ultimate Game Freak: Interview with Satoshi Tajiri", TimeAsia (Waybacked]).
- ↑ Poké Balls. Smash Bros. DOJO!!. smashbros.com. Retrieved on 2007-11-12.
- List of Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series
- List of Pokémon in Super Smash Bros.
- List of Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Melee
- List of Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
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