The Pokémon universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's expansive and hugely successful Pokémon media franchise. The Pokémon franchise is Nintendo's second most lucrative franchise, reaching only behind Nintendo's Mario franchise in global sales. Thus, a rather large portion of the content in the Super Smash Bros. series revolves around characters and properties from the Pokémon universe (see the full list of Pokémon that have made appearances throughout the fighting game series), not the least of which are six separate playable characters: Pikachu, Pichu, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Pokémon Trainer, and Lucario, the latter two of which are newcomers to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, while Pichu and Mewtwo have been retired.
Pokémon was introduced in Japan as "Pocket Monsters" by Nintendo in February 1996 as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy RPGs. It was not expected to be a huge success, but in the event, Pokémon exploded into an extremely potent franchise phenomenon, having been merchandised into an anime continuity (consisting of a television series with consistent motion pictures), many series of manga, an extensive collectible card game, toys, books, and other media. It was all ported to American audiences and worldwide later on. Pokémon has become the second biggest-selling game-based media franchise of all time, second only to Nintendo's Mario franchise; As of December 1, 2006, cumulative sold units (including home console versions) have reached more than 155 million copies.
In the various incarnations of the Pokémon universe, the world of Pokémon is an Earth-like world inhabited by many species of the eponymous Pokémon creatures which coexist with humans. The Pokémon are colorful, generally sentient creatures possessing the abilities to perform amazing talents of seemingly every conceivable sort, examples of which are breathing fire, exhuming poisonous smog, summoning rainfall, performing martial arts, holographically splitting up into multiple copies of itself, employing psychokinesis, unleashing paralysis-inducing electricity, etc. Many Pokémon live as wild animals both as predators and prey, while other individual Pokémon are mythical and powerful beings responsible for the creation of the world, and others still are man-made. Most Pokémon can only communicate in a non-human language that consists of syllables of their own names, while others speak in roars and grunts, but some can communicate in English through telepathy (e.g. Mewtwo), and in extremely rare cases a Pokémon can master the ability to speak the physical human tongue (e.g. one particular individual of the Meowth species). As of now, there are 493 species of Pokémon that have been identified.
The concept of the Pokémon universe, in both games and the general fictional world, stems from the hobbies of insect collecting and cockfighting, the former being a popular pastime which Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri had enjoyed as a child. In most instances of Pokémon, humans of varying interests seek out and capture various and multiple species of Pokémon using specially designed mass-producible tools called Poké Balls. In most cases a Pokémon caught from the wild by a human willingly joins up with the human and obeys his or her commands. Some catch and own Pokémon as friendly pets and lifelong companions and do not participate in any competitive activities with them. Others of a less savory nature, such as members of the Pokémon crime syndicate Team Rocket (Home to the Meowth who can speak the physical human tongue), capture Pokémon and use them as weapons to advance their evil agendas. For most humans, however, including players of the Pokémon RPGs, take the Pokémon trainer's route in life and collect Pokémon to train them and battle the Pokémon of other trainers in officially sponsored competitive Pokémon matches.
The two-stage object of most Pokémon RPGs is to collect all of the available Pokémon species in the region where that RPG takes place and from them train a winning team of powerful Pokémon fighters to defeat the powerful Pokémon teams of that region's Elite Four trainers and the regional Champion. Pokémon captured from the wild with Poké Balls gain experience and learn new battling moves by battling many wild Pokémon and challenging other trainers to Pokémon matches. Many species of Pokémon, when they gain enough experience and regardless of whether they are in the wild or under a trainer's ownership, undergo a metamorphosis and Evolve into a similar, but larger and more powerful, species of Pokémon. Many of the 493 species belong to such lineages, so in a sense there's more like 250+ distinctive species of Pokémon.
The Pokémon franchise's chronology is divided into "generations", defined by the original Pokémon that appear herein and the newest pair of handheld Pokémon RPGs featuring those Pokémon. Every several years, with the release of a new pair of RPGs for a new system, over a hundred new Pokémon are added to the existing pool of Pokémon, along with new regions, characters, properties, and gameplay concepts. There have been four generations thus far: The Pokémon Red and Blue versions for the Game Boy began the franchise with the First Generation, with 151 Pokémon species and the initial region of the world called the Kanto Region. This generation was in effect when Super Smash Bros. was developed and released in 1999, so Pokémon, locations, and properties of the first generation were featured in the game. In 2000, the Second Generation was heralded by the release of the Pokémon Gold and Silver sequel versions for Game Boy Color, which added 100 more new Pokémon to make for a total of 251, along with the new Johto region located just west of Kanto. Super Smash Bros. Melee was developed and released during this generation, so the game features content based on both existing generations. In 2003, the Third Generation took effect with the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire versions for Game Boy Advance, which added 135 more new Pokémon in the Hoenn region to make a total of 386, and in 2007 the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl versions for Nintendo DS ushered in the Fourth Generation with 107 more new Pokémon in the Sinnoh region, adding up to a grand total of 493 species. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is known to incorporate all four generations in-game.
In Super Smash Bros.
Pokémon's first generation was in effect at the release of Super Smash Bros. in 1999, so only Pokémon from the first generation are to be found here.
With two of the twelve fighters being Pokémon themselves, the Pokémon franchise was the second most prominent universe in the original game, falling only behind the four characters from the Mario universe:
- Pikachu: A yellow mouse with red cheeks, this cute creature is imbued with electricity and may employ it at will as offensive measures, both in Pokémon battles and in Smash competitions. It is often considered the mascot of the Pokémon franchise as a whole, often depicted on most of the franchise's merchandise and is unanimously included in any Pokémon product. It is the favored Pokémon of trainer Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon anime and has been trained to become a powerful member of the Pikachu species. It has a spiritual rival in the cat-like Pokémon Meowth. Pikachu, in the main Pokémon RPGs, is not strong in Pokémon battles at all. It has an evolved form, however, called Raichu, a larger, more imposing, and much more powerful electric rodent that is quite popular to use in the video games. Pikachu also has a younger, weaker pre-evolved form called Pichu which did not exist at all during the first generation; it was introduced in the second generation. Pikachu is often called the most popular pokemon in America.
- Jigglypuff: A pink ball-like fluffy creature strikingly similar to Kirby in appearance and floaty stature. This cute creature possesses a hypnotic singing voice that literally puts those around to hear it to sleep, and when angered (as it often becomes in the anime when it sees its audience fall asleep from its performances), it will punish its target either with Pound or with vandalizing its victims' faces with a marker. In Smash Bros., it is widely agreed to be a legitimate force to be reckoned with, thanks to its trump card, Rest. Its power in Smash battles is ironic because in the RPGs it is one of the weakest Pokémon to bring out in battle. It has an evolved form, not seen in Smash however, called Wigglytuff, a larger, less spherical creature with markedly higher specifications to make it more appealing in battle. It also has a younger, even weaker pre-evolved form called Igglybuff which did not exist at all during the first generation; it was introduced in the second generation. Jigglypuff is often called the most popular pokemon in Japan.
Super Smash Bros. features one Pokémon-themed stage:
- Saffron City: This takes place on the rooftops of various skyscrapers on the metropolitan Saffron City located within the Pokémon world's Kanto region. Saffron City is the largest and most populated city in the Pokémon RPGs and anime, and the Silph Co. building belongs to a major Kanto region corporation that designs technologically advanced devices like the Silph Scope, for identifying ghostly Pokémon, the Up-Grade, an item that may cause the evolution of Porygon into Porygon2 in the RPGs, and the Master Ball: a one of a kind pokeball, which can capture any one pokemon. Several first-generation Pokémon appear out of the central structure's doorway to influence the action.
Silph Co. Pokémon
Super Smash Bros. introduces the one Pokémon-related item seen throughout the Smash series:
- Poké Ball: When thrown, one of about a dozen available Pokémon from the first generation will emerge from the thrown item and perform an action unique to that Pokémon, making this the most unpredictable, complex, and variable item of all. The collection of Pokémon findable in throwable Poké Balls in Super Smash Bros. features the first-generation Pokémon.
- 12: An orchestration of the traditional Pokemon title theme, heard on Saffron City.
- 22: The victory fanfare of Pikachu and Jigglypuff is an orchestration borrowing elements from track 12.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Pokémon's second generation was in effect at the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001, so Pokémon from both existing generations are featured.
Four of the 26 playable charcters are Pokémon; however, the Pokémon universe is made to be the third most represented franchise in the character select screen of Melee. It was overtaken for second place by The Legend of Zelda universe's five characters.
- Pikachu: Returning from Smash Bros. with Skull Bash as its new Forward-B move, Pikachu is otherwise not dramatically changed. However, its tier ranking among other characters has dramatically dropped for its appearance in SSBM. Pikachu's pre-evolved Pichu form came into existence in the second generation and is featured as a new playable character.
- Jigglypuff: Returning from Smash Bros. with Rollout as its new B move, Jigglypuff is otherwise not dramatically changed. Its pre-evolved Igglybuff form came into existence in the second generation and cameos as a collectible trophy.
- Pichu: A new fighter that is an alternative version to Pikachu, much like Luigi to Mario. Pichu, a second-generation Pokémon, is younger and weaker than Pikachu in the Pokémon continuity, and its control over its electric powers is iffy at best; it often damages itself when unleashing a strong electric attack. This is reflected in Melee, in that when it uses one of several moves, it will actually recieve damage itself as a side-effect. That, along with other disadvantages such as extremely light weight, makes Pichu one of the least able fighters in Melee.
- Mewtwo: A new and original fighter from Pokémon's first generation. Mewtwo is the strongest Pokémon in the RPGs and in especially the anime continuity is depicted as a sentient humanoid being with a personality that allows for the virtues and failings of a human being. The anime depicts Mewtwo as the twisted genetically-engineered result of scientists working to create the most powerful Pokémon artificially, using the DNA of the rare and powerful Mew (hence Mewtwo's name). Mewtwo is imbued with extremely potent psychic powers and is in fact able to communicate telepathically in well-grammared English. So it is utterly ironic that Mewtwo is considered a bottom-tier fighter for his playable appearance in Melee, lacking a solid method of approach that most other fighters have.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features one starter stage and one unlockable stage. It may be noted that neither of the following stages take place in the Johto region located west of Kanto, even though the Johto region was introduced in the second generation of games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, and was the main region one played in during that time.
- Pokémon Stadium This takes place in a typical night-time stadium located in the Kanto region; it does not represent any one specific location in the Pokémon RPGs. This stage is unique because the entire field may transform into an entirely new battlefield after a set amount of time, and there are four fields available.
- Poké Floats: This stage consists of many Pokémon-shaped balloons floating in the skies above the Kanto region. Over the course of three-and-a-half minutes, giant balloons of Squirtle, Onix, Psyduck, Chikorita, Weezing, Slowpoke, Porygon, Wooper, Sudowoodo, Snorlax, Venusaur, Seel, Wobbuffet, Goldeen, Lickitung, Chansey, Geodude, and many Unown appear in that order and cycle through for the players to battle on.
- Poké Ball: Returns in Melee to reprise its role as the most complex, randomized item available, with a revised and expanded collection of Pokémon from both generations 1 and 2 able to appear from a thrown ball. Melee's collection of Pokémon findable in throwable Poké Balls features the following Pokémon from the (then) current two generations. The Pokémon Electrode also functions as an item, and can be thrown at enemies.
List of Pokémon
- Ditto (only through Action Replay; Debug menu)
Ditto makes a spiritual appearance as the icon selected when you choose to play as a random character in Melee's tournament mode. Ditto was originally planned to be one of the Poké-Ball Pokémon listed above, and it would Transform into a copy of the player's character for a short time, but it was discarded from the final product because of issues programming it.
- 15: Pokemon Stadium: An orchestration of the main title screen music in most Pokemon RPGs, complete with a chorus. It is heard in Kanto: Pokemon Stadium.
- 16: Poke Floats: A synthesized medley of three battle-related tunes heard in the first generation of Pokemon RPGs, beginning with the standard Trainer Battle theme, then the Gym Leader Battle theme, and finally the wild Pokemon encounter theme. This is heard on Kanto Skies: Poke Floats and is often heard accompanying Mewtwo in Single-player mode.
- 32: Battle Theme: A synthesized medley of three battle-related tunes heard in the second generation of Pokemon RPGs, beginning with the wild Pokemon encounter theme, then the Gym Leader Battle theme, and finally the Champion Battle theme. This is heard as a secondary track on Kanto: Pokemon Stadium and is often heard accompanying Pichu in Single-player mode.
- 45: Pokemon Victory: The victory fanfare of Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pichu, and Mewtwo is an orchestration borrowing elements from track 15, "Pokemon Stadium".
Full Trophy List
- Pikachu's three game trophies
- Jigglypuff's three game trophies
- Pichu's three game trophies
- Mewtwo's three game trophies
- Bulbasaur (trophy)
- Venusaur (trophy)
- Charizard (trophy)
- Squirtle (trophy)
- Blastoise (trophy)
- Clefairy (trophy)
- Meowth (trophy)
- Poliwhirl (trophy)
- Electrode (trophy)
- Weezing (trophy)
- Chansey (trophy)
- Goldeen (trophy)
- Staryu (trophy)
- Ditto (trophy)
- Eevee (trophy)
- Snorlax (trophy)
- Articuno (trophy)
- Zapdos (trophy)
- Moltres (trophy)
- Mew (trophy)
- Chikorita (trophy)
- Cyndaquil (trophy)
- Totodile (trophy)
- Crobat (trophy)
- Cleffa (trophy)
- Igglybuff (trophy)
- Togepi (trophy)
- Bellossom (trophy)
- Marill (trophy)
- Sudowoodo (trophy)
- Unown (trophy)
- Wobbuffet (trophy)
- Steelix (trophy)
- Scizor (trophy)
- Heracross (trophy)
- Porygon2 (trophy)
- Raikou (trophy)
- Entei (trophy)
- Suicune (trophy)
- Lugia (trophy)
- Ho-oh (trophy)
- Celebi (trophy)
- Poké Ball (trophy)
- Pokémon Stadium (trophy)
- Professor Oak (trophy)
- Misty (trophy)
- ZERO-ONE (trophy)
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Pokémon makes a return in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the more extensively represented franchises. The European version of the game displays every single Pokémon's name in all caps.
Four Pokémon characters appear in Brawl as playable fighters:
- Pikachu: Returns from Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee seemingly unaltered, with its Thunder Jolt Neutral-B, Quick Attack Up-B, and Thunder Down-B intact. However, Pikachu is seen hopping where it should be walking, and it demonstrates a crawling ability seen held by several other characters. Pikachu's Final Smash is called Volt Tackle, and it involves it temporarily turning into a giant ball of electricity and flying at high speeds across the stage. This move can be controlled when in action, but it leaves Pikachu helpless if the attack ends or is cancelled while it's in midair.
- Pokémon Trainer: A new character based on the generic trainer from the Pokémon games, this particular design most resembling Red from Pokémon Red & Blue, and various other remakes and sequels. Pokémon Trainer is unique in that he's the only character announced thus far that doesn't fight on his own, instead using one of three starter Pokémon to fight for him, switchable by usage of the Pokémon Change ability:
- Squirtle: The first evolutionary stage of the Water starter from the first generation of games. The smallest and presumably lightest of the three forms.
- Ivysaur: The second evolution of the Grass starter from the first gen. Interestingly enough, Ivysaur is one of only two playable quadrupeds in the entire Smash Bros. series to date, the other one being Pikachu.
- Charizard: The third and most powerful form of the Charmander family, which hails from the Kanto region. Charizard appears to be the strongest and heaviest of the three. Although Charizard has appeared in every Smash Bros. game, Brawl is the first (and to date, only) in which it is playable.
- Lucario: Lucario makes its Super Smash Bros. debut as an Unlockable Newcomer. Although it is primarily a fighting-type, it uses its "aura" ability to improve his fighting style. It has voice acting similar to Mewtwo due to his psychic abilities. It is unique among most fighters due to the fact that Lucario becomes stronger the more damage it takes on.
- Jigglypuff: Jigglypuff makes a return in Brawl as an Unlockable Veteran fighter.
Rayquaza: is the first confirmed Pokémon character to be a boss in adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the Subspace Emissary, Rayquaza first appears in the jungle after Diddy Kong goes to investigate a crashed Arwing. It comes out of the water and attacks the Arwing with Dragon Pulse, then kidnaps Diddy. As it goes back in the water, Fox McCloud comes out and attacks Rayquaza, causing it to lose its grip on Diddy Kong. The Pokémon attacks Fox with energy, but Fox reflects the attack back at Rayquaza, sending it tumbling back into the water. The boss battle is implied to happen shortly after this, if not immediately following.
- Pokémon Stadium 2: An upgrade to Melee's Pokémon Stadium, this new stage retains the same basic layout, but transforms into four different elemental terrains than previously. This time, other Pokémon will appear in the background of the stages: Dugtrio, Cubone, Hoppip, Skarmory, Drifloon, Electivire, Snover, Frosslass, and Snorunt.
- Spear Pillar: Spear Pillar appears as a playable stage in Brawl. It is a destructible stage, similar to Skyworld. The Legendary Pokémon Dialga and Palkia, Cresselia appear in the background, devastating the players. Also the lake trio Mesprit, Azelf and Uxie appear when either Dialga, Palkia or Cresselia destroy or damage a part of the stage.
- Poké Ball: By tradition, this item returns to reprise its role as one of the most complex, randomized items available (along with the Assist Trophy), with a revised and expanded collection of Pokémon from all four Generations of the franchise able to appear from a thrown ball. Currently, the following Pokémon have been confirmed to appear, and they hail from all four current Generations of Pokémon:
List of Pokémon
- Deoxys (in Attack Form)
- Pokémon Main Theme - A completely redone version of the original Pokémon main theme that was mostly used in the original Red & Blue versions but isn't heard as often in the newer ones. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium 2 stage.
- Road to Viridian City (From Pallet Town/Pewter City) - A whimsical remix of one of the commonly used "Route" songs used in the Red & Blue versions, first heard on Route 1. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium 2 stage.
- The Pokémon Center - A remix of the Pokémon Center background music that is used in nearly every Pokémon title. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium 2 stage.
- Pokémon Gym/Evolution - A medley made of both the Pokémon Gym song as well as the evolution song, both of which have made regular appearances in every mainstream Pokémon title. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium 2 stage.
- Wild Pokémon Battle! (Ruby/Sapphire) - A remix of the background music that plays when encountering a wild Pokémon in the Ruby & Sapphire versions. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium 2 stage.
- Victory Road - An epic remix of the Elite 4 theme that originated at Indigo Plateau in the original Red & Blue versions. It is used on the Spear Pillar stage.
- Dialga/Palkia Battle at Spear Pillar! - A medley consisting of remixes of both the Dialga & Palkia battle theme and the Spear Pillar background music from the Diamond & Pearl versions. It is used on the Spear Pillar stage.
- Wild Pokémon Battle! (Diamond/Pearl) - A remix of the background music that plays when encountering a wild Pokémon in the Diamond & Pearl versions. It is used on the Spear Pillar stage.
- Team Galactic - Taken directly from the Diamond & Pearl versions, this was the song that played when battling a member of the villainous Team Galactic. It is used on the Spear Pillar stage.
- Route 209 - A rather upbeat remix of the Route 209 background music from the Diamond & Pearl versions. It is used on the Spear Pillar stage.
- Pokémon Stadium (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium stage.
- Battle Theme (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium stage.
- Poké Floats (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Pokémon Stadium stage.
- Pokémon Victory Theme - Pikachu, Pokémon Trainer, Lucario and Jigglypuff's victory theme. A section of the Pokémon Red & Blue main theme.
- Glaceon and Leafeon
- Latios & Latias
- Plusle and Minun
- Poké Ball
- Pokemon Trainer
- Triple Finish
- Volt Tackle
- Latias and Latios
- Pokémon Trainer