Pikachu (ピカチュウ Pikachū?) is a fictional creature in the Pokémon franchise of media. It is the most popular and well known Pokémon in the world, and is the main representative of the franchise. It appears as a playable fighter in all three Super Smash Bros. games.
Pikachu is a a small yellow mouse, with pointy, black-tipped ears, red circles on its cheeks, and a tail in the shape of a lightning bolt. The extensive variety of Pokedex entries available for Pikachu throughout the RPG series provides plenty of biological information: It lives in forests in groups away from people, and it keeps its tail raised as it monitors its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose, and it will try to bite whatever yanks its tail. Its red cheeks are electricity-storing pouches which appear to become electrically charged overnight while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up. Shooting out stored-up electricity from its cheeks is its primary offensive measure; if threatened, angered, or attacked, it discharges the electricity from its cheeks at the offender. When it releases pent-up energy in a full-on burst, the electric power unleashed is equal to a bona-fide lightning bolt. When several Pikachu gather together, the collective electricity among them may build and cause a lightning storm. It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state. An intelligent species, it jolts any new thing it comes across as a way of inspecting it. Whenever it comes across a hard berry, it uses its electricity to roast the berry to make it tender enough to eat, and it jolts any new thing it comes across. If you come across a blackened berry, it's evidence that a Pikachu mistook the intensity of its charge.
In the main series of video games, Pikachu is a relatively weak Electric-Type Pokémon that can be found early in the original game. Unlike certain special monsters that had plot elements wrapped around them such as Mewtwo, Pikachu was just another Pokémon that could be caught, evolved into its higher form, Raichu, and had no bearing on the story. However, Pikachu's popularity in the anime, where it was the first and primary Pokémon of the main character, Ash Ketchum, eventually led to its starring its own specialized version of the Game Boy game (the Yellow version), as the first Pokémon that the player obtained. Pikachu's role in the game was intensely elaborated on, as several events on the game depended on how Pikachu felt towards the player. Depending on the player's actions towards Pikachu, the electric rat Pokémon would exhibit a variety of emotions when spoken to, varying from frustration, to amusement, to complete adoration. Pikachu's happiness was sometimes a prerequisite for certain rewards in the game, such as attaining the three Pokémon that could be chosen as starters from the Red and Blue versions.
Pikachu has not had a starring role in any of the main games in the series since then, but it has been featured in every prominent handheld RPG since the franchise, usually bringing something new with it each time. In Pokémon GS, released for the Game Boy Color in 2000, Pikachu gained a new evolutionary phase in the form of Pichu. It also gained an item called the Light Ball, which doubled Pikachu's Special Attack when held. However the item was only obtainable when trading a Pikachu over from the Yellow version. The Emerald version of Pokémon Advance gave Pikachu an Egg Move exclusive to it and its family, called Volt Tackle, which was an exceptionally powerful Electric-attack with a large recoil. The Diamond and Pearl versions of the recently released DS title introduced cosmetic differences between genders for certain species of Pokémon, and Pikachu was one of them, with the females having a dent at the end of their tail. The Light Ball also gained a new feature in this game - allowing both Pikachu's normal and Special Attacks to be doubled.
Pikachu has also been in virtually every Pokémon related spinoff game ever released, sometimes as the star or a main character, and other times just featured among the hundreds of other Pokémon in the series. Notable Pikachu-centric games include Hey You, Pikachu! for the Nintendo 64, where the player could talk to Pikachu using the microphone, Pokémon Channel, which is usually regarded as a spiritual sequel to the previous title, and the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, where Pikachu is one of 16 Pokémon that the player can start out as. Pikachu has also been made into a Tamagotchi-style virtual pet called the Pocket Pikachu, which was a little LCD device that owners can clip onto their belt. Whenever the user took a step, it would register on the system, which would give Pikachu points in the form of "watts".
Due to Pokémon's intense popularity, Pikachu was included in Super Smash Bros. as a starter character, along with another Pokémon made popular by the anime, Jigglypuff. Pikachu's Electric-Type attacks and speed were translated into the game, and it has been featured in every subsequent game in the series.
In Super Smash Bros.
As a playable character
- Main article: Pikachu (SSB)
In the fifth level of the game's single-player mode, the player faces Pikachu on the Saffron City stage.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
As a playable character
- Main article: Pikachu (SSBM)
In the game's single-player Adventure mode, a team of a total of ten Pikachu, Pichu, and Jigglypuff, face the player on the Pokémon Stadium stage, and the only items on the stage are Poké Balls. Pikachu is featured in the following Event Matches:
- Event 7: Pokémon Battle: The player faces Pikachu on the Pokémon Stadium stage. The only method either character can use to damage the other is by using Poké Balls.
- Event 13: Yoshi's Egg: The player, as Yoshi, must defend the Yoshi's Egg item from Pikachu, Fox, and Donkey Kong on the Mushroom Kingdom: Rainbow Cruise stage.
- Event 30: All-Star Match 3: As a character of the player's choice, they must defeat Kirby, Pikachu, Ness, and the Ice Climbers, one after the other.
- Event 48: Pikachu and Pichu: This match takes place on the Past Stages: Dream Land stage, and the player is pitted against two Pichu and a Pikachu with infinite stock. The player must KO the two Pichu to win.
By tradition, Pikachu as a playable character is featured on its personal 3 trophies. Its normal trophy is acquired by beating the Classic mode with Pikachu on any difficulty, and its Smash Red and Smash Blue trophies are acquired the same way by beating the Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively. Its Classic mode trophy reads:
- It's safe to say that Pikachu is the most famous and popular of all Pokémon. It has electric pouches in both cheeks; when in danger, it shoots electricity at its enemies. Although Pikachu can evolve into Raichu by exposure to a Thunderstone, many trainers like Pikachu so much that they don't let it evolve.
- Pokémon Red & Blue, 9/98
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
As a playable character
- Main article: Pikachu (SSBB)
Visually, Pikachu has barely changed at all from its Melee design, only being touched up slightly. However, Pikachu was improved from Melee, becoming more powerful in the process. It has all of its moves from the first two games. Like the rest of Brawl's cast, Pikachu also has a Final Smash, a new kind of special attack that was added for Brawl. Pikachu's Final Smash is called Volt Tackle, which involves it turning into a giant ball of light than can be controlled by the player. One downside of Volt Tackle is that it can be considered hard to manuver. This move operates absolutely nothing like Volt Tackle in the original Pokémon games, and is speculated to be based on a special ability in the Genesis/Mega Drive game Pulseman, Volteccer, which Volt Tackle was apparently based on and named after (in the Japanese versions of the Pokémon series).
- A Mouse Pokémon. Its lightning-bolt tail and round cheeks are its trademarks. When danger draws near, it uses tiny electric pouches within its cheeks to discharge electricity. When it's really fired up, it unleashes thunderbolts on its rivals. It's said to recharge when it's sleeping. It evolves into Raichu.
- Pokémon Red/Blue
- Pokémon Diamond/Pearl
- Pikachu is the only playable Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series to have a gender difference. Male Pikachu look like the one in Smash Bros, but females have a small indent in their tail, which vaguely looks like a heart.
- It is thought that the Pikachu in SSBB evolved from the Pichu in SSBM, due to the fact that to learn Volt Tackle, a Pikachu must evolve from Pichu. In SSBB Pikachu can wall jump, and he couldn't in SSBM or SSB, while Pichu could. One small piece of proof is that Pikachu's blue costume has Pikachu wear blue goggles, similar to the ones Pichu wore in SSBM.