In the Johto region, there are ruins located to the south of Violet City called the Ruins of Alph.
It is the home of the widely-varied but ultimately useless Pokémon by the name of Unown, who represent all 26 letters of the English alphabet as well as both the question mark and exclamation point, shown below.
After completing a sliding panel puzzle in one of the rooms, the floor drops out from underneath you and you end up in the actual ruins where you can find these Pokemon. What’s interesting, though, is not the Pokémon you can catch, but the Pokémon on display.
I believe I may have discovered either some kind of inside joke among the staff at Game Freak or a sort of Easter egg for those in the know. It has to do with the history of the Pokémon Rhydon and the Ruins of Alph located in the Johto region.
To start off, here’s a little history lesson.
Before Pokémon, there was “Capsule Monsters,” which was Satoshi Tajiri’s early design concept of Pokémon, first proposed to Nintendo as early as 1990. Inspired by gashapon figures (think gumball machine, but with small toys), Tajiri had a difficult time attaining a trademark for Capsule Monsters, so he changed the name of his idea to “CapuMon,” and eventually “Pocket Monsters” as we know it today.
After Pocket Monsters started going into development, Tajiri—along with longtime Game Freak artist Ken Sugimori—created their first Pocket Monster: Rhydon.
Rhydon was even around back in the Capsule Monster days, as depicted in this collage.
This is further supported as its index number is 001 in the coding for Generation I, which could also explain as to why Rhydon—being a Rock/Ground-type—could learn the move Surf and eventually the moves Rain Dance, Whirlpool, and Aqua Tail; the creators were testing out the HM for Surf by using Rhydon as their subject.
While playing through Pokémon SoulSilver for a second time, I visited the bottom floor of the Ruins of Alph after completing the now-simplistic Kabuto sliding puzzle. Upon my entry from above—since the floor fell out from underneath me—I immediately noticed some rather intriguing statues of what looked like the Pokémon Rhydon.
Knowing what I know about this Pokémon, there is a possibility that this may not just be a coincidence.
I will be posting a relatively short article later today on the matter, then it’s back to working on Article #3…
Colleague: “And while it may be up to opinion while Gen 5 was great the Pokemon lacked originality, as they had been slowly losing since gen 3, again in my own opinion.”
Myself: “I’ve had this discussion time and time again about the ‘originality’ of the Pokemon concept. From what I can tell, we went from twenty different colors of rats and birds in Generation I to two-headed sentient ice cream cones and possessed chandeliers in Generation V. I think the ideas are on the up-and-up and most people can’t set aside their nostalgia-hardness for one second to fully grasp that.”
Colleague: “I generally dont care about pokemon as long as the game is good and the pokemon isnt horribly repulsive to look at .”
Myself: “Fair enough, but I also feel as though there’s no real limit to what a Pokemon is or could be. A lot of people say that Pokemon nowadays don’t ‘look’ like Pokemon. ‘I’m sorry, when did YOU become best friends with Nintendo?’, y’know? Especially since Generation III they’ve changed design teams almost entirely every Generation afterward. And sure, you may get a new Pokemon that totally outclasses another older one in the same vein (Bouffalant > Tauros in literally every way), but for the most part I feel the new ideas are what keeps Pokemon from becoming any other standard, run-of-the-mill RPG.”
Colleague: “It just bugs me when i see a new pokemon that looks almost exactly like an older one. But again it doesnt matter. A game is a game and like a lot of games people take it way too seriously. Relax…its just a game”
Myself: “Perhaps you just need something to be passionate about to understand.”
This was actually requested by a friend of mine, and I find it rather fascinating. [Thanks, Eddie!]
There are many real-world ideas and objects implemented into the Pokemon world every day, and one that bears a striking resemblance between the two would be that of the concept of deities.
Now, I’m not willing to get into any debates on the matter regarding having faith/a religion or not; that’s not the point of this research and I don’t intend to have any.
I have noticed through observation a connection between the stories/origins of Arceus and Giratina, and the War of Heaven as stated in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. I won’t go into detail now as I don’t have all of my notes and whatnot organized coherently quite yet (that’s what the article will be for, after all), but it has certainly caught my attention.
According to the PokeDex entry for Caterpie in Pokemon Stadium:
“It has large, eye-like patterns on its head as protection. They are used to frighten off enemies.”
From Bulbapedia: “Its most notable characteristic is the bright red antennae (osmeterium) on its head. These and the large eye-shaped markings help to startle predators.”
If I’m interpreting that part correctly (“…large, eye-like patterns on its head…”), then I’m to assume that Caterpie either doesn’t have eyes OR is hiding it’s “true eyes” for whatever reason.
Generation 1 artwork depicting “souless eye-patterns” with no “white pupils”
Screenshot from “Hey You, Pikachu!” also depicting “white pupils”
I may or may not pursue this information further as it’s most likely just a flaw in the artwork itself, but it’s definitely something that caught my attention/blew my mind. o_O