The Pokemon franchise spans across more than just games and anime. Throughout its lifespan of over 20 years, the franchise has had its fair share of success, but also some critical flops as well. While the highs are praised for generations to come, the failures are left to collect dust and fall into obscurity.
One of the most interesting aspects of the series is going back to see just how many things have been forgotten by the world's highest grossing media franchise. From odd programming quirks to abandoned hardware, there are tons of little details regarding everyone's favorite monster-collecting titles that are fun to look back on from time to time. But which ones really stick out?
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer's views.
5 obscure facts about Pokemon franchise: The Pokemon Mini, open-world nature of games, and more
1) The Pokemon Mini
Devices like the Tamagotchi and other pocket game devices were a huge trend in the late 90s, but in 2001, Nintendo threw its hat into the ring with the Pokemon Mini. Housing multiple minigames that consumers could purchase, the Mini is Nintendo's smallest cartridge-based handheld the corporation ever released, and did so exclusively for the Pocket Monsters franchise.
Coming in three colors, this device was a technological marvel for its time. Being able to last 60 hours off of a single AAA battery while also supporting rumble features, shake detection, and an internal clock, the Mini was sadly outshined by the GameBoy Advance that came out in the same year.
Funnily enough, players could also obtain a Mini console in the Pokemon Channel game released for the Gamecube with six playable cartridges.
2) The Odd Case of Meltan
Though many tend to overlook the small blob, taking a look under the hood shows that this creature is a lot more obscure than it is given credit for. As many may know, Meltan is the only species of creatures that is exclusive to the Pokemon GO mobile title. Things get a bit more unusual when its evolution requirement is considered.
Since GO features a point system in the form of candies for creature evolution, the only way players can evolve Meltan is through the use of 400 of its respective candies. This poses a problem as these cannot be obtained in the main series titles. As such, it is coded as a creature who cannot evolve, and thus cannot make use of the Eviolite item.
However, things get much weirder as there is code that exists in the Sword and Shield titles where, upon evolution, Meltan is prompted to learn Thunder Punch. Since it is hard-coded to never evolve in the main series, this command goes unused.
3) Softlocking the original titles
Pokemon Red and Blue for the Nintendo Gameboy are the titles that started it all. However, as many modern trainers are aware, these games are more remembered for their abundance of glitches now more than anything else. One of these takes the cake for being one of the most bizarre to ever be found in a main series title.
In these original games, if the player manages to evolve their starter before giving Professor Oak his parcel from the Viridian PokeMart, the entire game cannot progress. The player will never receive their Pokedex for some reason, the old man in Viridian City will not move, and the player is forced to reset their game.
4) The games have been open-world since the very beginning
The recent Scarlet and Violet were the first truly open-world titles in the main series. However, a lot of players tend to ignore the fact that the original games, as well as their remakes, are very close to being open-world in much the same way.
In Pokemon Red and Blue, after defeating Misty and heading to the S.S. Anne to receive the HM for Cut, players are not required in any way to instantly challenge Surge's gym as usage of Cut in the overworld is granted after defeating Misty.
In fact, if they just head back to Cerulean City and use the move on the east road block, they can go right to Lavender Town and proceed with the game.
Of course, trainers will still need to collect the eight gym badges to challenge the Elite Four, but having the option to choose how one can play the game opens the door for all sorts of replayability. This also remains true for the Gen 3 remakes, as well as the Let's GO titles.
5) Pokemon Black and White's alternative ending
Would you believe that the Black and White titles for the Nintendo DS have a secret ending? Players have to go incredibly far out of their way to get it. However, there is a way to bypass one of the core features of the game's conclusion to technically unlock a secret ending, which unlocks a unique Legendary encounter.
Normally, players are required to battle and catch the Box Legendary of their version of choice before battling N and completing the game. However, if they manage to completely fill their PC storage before this encounter, they will bypass this requirement, triggering the battle with N after defeating the Legendary.
Fret not as, after completing the game, the Box Legendary will be waiting at the top of Dragonspiral Tower and can still be battled and captured. After the player cleans out their PC storage, that is.