Here are 5 of the strangest Pokémon glitches

We might need a new Pokedex just for Pokeglitches

The Pokemon series has endured for so long that those of us who witnessed its beginning can already tell our tales to the younger trainers like we were community elders. Don’t blame us, though, as the world of Pokemon really did use to host some of the weirdest glitches in the history of gaming.

The seas of Kanto hid a real Lovecraftian nightmare

There’s no better tale of terror set at sea than an encounter with MissingNo. That’s not a mysterious or edgy name the developers came up with for an intentionally mysterious Pokemon, but rather a cry for help from the game itself.

MissingNo. Stands for “missing number”, meaning that the game spawns that tetromino-shaped eldritch abomination when it doesn’t know what Pokemon to put in front of us. The results of the encounter with this anomaly will vary depending on the version of the original game trainers are playing. He can either mess up our Pokemon stats for a while or completely ruin our save file. We’d advise players against capturing MissingNo., but if you do, never store it in a computer, as that’s logically how he’ll take over the world.

The scariest part of it all? MissingNo. doesn’t inhabit the far seas of the Pokemon world. You can find him by the coast of Cinnabar.

The endless sea glitch

Ok, we don’t want to sound like total past-our-prime people who exhausted all the “fun” one could possibly have in the past. We’re happy to tell younger players that they too can find horrific glitches that might scar them for life. Look no further than Pokemon Legends: Arceus, one of the most recent entries in the franchise. In Arceus, a battle glitch might render players stuck in an endless ocean they cannot escape from.

What kind of chemicals are they discharging in the seas of the Pokemon world?

Image via The Pokemon Company

Even the TV show was glitched!

We’re assuming that since glitches have always been a part of the game series, they had to find their way into the animated series as well. Back in ’97, Japanese tv aired an episode called “Dennō Senshi Porygon”, which featured a high amount of strobe lighting effects. This annoying-at-best aesthetic choice induced epileptic seizures in hundreds of Japanese kids. The studio immediately pulled the episode, never released it outside of Japan, and made sure they toned down the series regarding edgy effects.

We could rescue Mew from the game’s digital entrails

Ok, enough with the glitches that screw up your day. This is the one when we take the power back.

For several years, Mew inhabited our collective imagination as little more than a myth. A playground story people would tell and laugh at. A few managed to achieve Mew via Nintendo-sponsored events, but the small pink creature illuded every trainer who tried to catch it in the game.

But it turns out Mew wasn’t something we could only get from events or from cutting the tire of some van like that kid in school told you. Getting it from events meant that he always existed inside the cartridge since there was no actual way to transfer new Pokemon into the game back then. This brought players to the realization that we could actually fool the game into spawning it for us to catch. The process is pretty complicated so may Arceus bless whoever discovered it; but it’s totally doable.

Screenshot by Destructoid

When trading, we were actually mechanically cloning Pokemon

We have good news for those among you who want more than to just extract certain Pokemon from the game. Why just have one Pokemon when you can have an army of them? The very first Pokemon games for the Game Boy lied to us when they said we could transfer Pokemon from our game to the game of one of our friends. That’s not what the game did. It didn’t move data, it copied both Pokemon that players were trying to swap, then, we assume, burned the original ones alive. What a prestige move!

There’s a good way to prevent this, however: unplug the link cable mid-transfer. This made sure both players would gain a Pokemon without losing anything. This was only possible for people who owned a link cable, which serves to prove how much of an advantage those who possess the means of Pokeproduction have over the rest of us.

About The Author
Tiago Manuel
Tiago is a freelancer who used to write about video games, cults, and video game cults. He now writes for Destructoid in an attempt to find himself on the winning side when the robot uprising comes.
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