As mysterious as it is threatening, Mewtwo is the original strongest Pokemon in existence. Possessing the eerie mix of a deeply meditated mind with unstoppable destructive prowess, this purple, psychic, humanoid Pokemon has become a fan favorite of the franchise, having been featured in the video games, anime and manga.
An easy standout thanks to its empathetic backstory, Mewtwo was created in a lab, a genetic clone of the ancient Pokemon, Mew. After destroying its creators, it was taken in by the head of evil organization Team Rocket, having its powers grossly exploited in the process. Eventually, Mewtwo rose up against his handlers and started down a path to find his identity that only he could walk, drifting in and out of the Pokemon mythos ever since. While the first Mewtwo introduced in the anime is male, they can be of either gender, so we’ll be using two pronouns to refer to it.
While you might know the basics, there’s a lot more to how this Legendary Pokemon ticks. Here are 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Mewtwo.
12. His Motivations Differ in the Japanese Version of Pokemon: The First Movie
Technically speaking, movies based on video games don’t have the best track record when it comes to quality. When Pokemon: The First Movie was released in the United States, it unfortunately followed this trend and was savagely torn apart by critics everywhere, earning a horrendous score of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. There were a lot of gripes, but it was mostly panned for having a repetitive plot and a paper-thin villain in Mewtwo, who was just another evil genius trying to take over the world, à la Pinky and the Brain. The tragedy is that the story for the English dub was heavily rewritten by Warner Bros., who drastically changed character motivations and entire plot lines from the Japanese cut of the film.
According to producers, the original Japanese version didn’t distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys well enough. Mewtwo, who was an artificial life form trying to find its place in the world, was turned into just another one-note villain hellbent of world domination as a result. Several aspects of the movie were changed for Western audiences, including the focus on friendship in the final act which doesn’t even take place in the Japanese version.
Likewise, the speech that Mew gives Mewtwo is far less righteous in the Japanese version, which is essentially just trash talk stating that all artificial lifeforms are inferior. It’s a shame that audiences were never treated to the adult themes of the original Japanese cut, which more closely resembles Marry Shelly’s Frankenstein rather than the watered-down fluff of the English dub.
11. He Was Created by Traditional Cloning Methods
While the story might differ slightly depending on which Pokedex entry you’re reading, the general consensus is that Mewtwo is the artificial creation stemming from years of gene splicing and horrific experiments on Mew cells. It is the first, and as of now, only Pokemon created by way of cloning. The scientists responsible set out to create the “perfect” Pokemon, and winded up with Mewtwo, a humanoid creature with a purple tail and blunt horns. While anime and movies show the clone being grown in a laboratory, the Gameboy games have a more grounded, or perhaps disturbing, explanation.
In the original Blue and Red games there is a point where the player can read journals in the Pokemon mansion. In one of those journals, Mewtwo’s origins are chronicled by the scientists that created him, but not in the regard that is depicted in Pokemon: The First Movie. One of the official journal entries reads, “Mew gave birth. We named the newborn Mewtwo.” This would mean that after finding the ancient Pokemon Mew, the scientists created Mewtwo using real life cloning methods by tampering with Mew’s embryo. As a result Mew actually gave birth to the genetically altered life form, rather than being grown in a beaker in a lab. This would be more in line with how real life cloning works, and contradicts later anime depictions of the same events.
10. He Conserves Energy
Mewtwo comes across as stoic and serious, but there is a method to the madness. Most are aware that this Psychic type Pokemon is insanely powerful, thanks to its genetic code from the ancient Mew who is said to be the granddaddy of all Pokemon. Mewtwo has the abilities of telekinesis, psychic force powers, and creating black destructive orbs of doom. He’s so powerful that he’s even able to create massive hurricanes by just flexing its brain.
It’s able to generate this kind of power because he’s naturally strong. As you will notice in most pictures, games and anime, Mewtwo isn’t the most athletic Pokemon; he’s barely seen moving around at all. This is to conserve its energy so it can unleash its full potential during battle. The genetic clone is naturally adept at enduring pain, allowing it to maintain its focus in Pokemon battles. By standing or levitating completely still most of the time, Mewtwo can save its true strength for when he really needs it.
9. He Was First Pokemon Seen in The English Dub
After the Pokemon Gameboy games proved to be worldwide hits, a TV show to go along with them followed shortly, as did trading cards, comic books, action figures, t-shirts, lunchboxes, roller skates, tennis rackets, basket balls… and pretty much everything else, including a Pikachu Pez dispenser. The marketing worked, and if you grew up in the late 90’s, chances are you often raced home from school to turn on your TV to catch the newest adventure with young Ash as he continued his quest to become the ultimate Pokemon Trainer.
As soon as that infamous theme song started, kids everywhere plopped down in front of the idiot box while their parents stood in the doorway shaking their heads. The biggest draw of the show was the catchy theme song, which every Poke-fan knew the words to. While the song and the intro credits are now ingrained into pop culture, most have forgotten that the first Pokemon seen in the English Dub opening is in fact Mewtwo. The famous Psychic type is seen flying in space along with its counterpart Mew, as they both take off into the skies to introduce the viewer to the magical world of Pokemon.
8. The Multiple Mewtwo Theory
Out of the original 150 Pokemon, Mewtwo is easily the most mysterious. It’s to date the only Pokemon to have been created by cloning methods (unless you count that infamous Gameboy hack), and one of the few that can communicate with humans as well as Pokemon. The first movie in the franchise finally gave viewers a glimpse into its backstory, chronicling its creation in a laboratory to becoming a one-Pokemon army consumed with vengeance. It is widely believed that Mewtwo is the first and only of its kind.
Ever since the reveal of its origins, however, some fans hypothesized that there may be more than one Mewtwo out there. While the original version might have gone on a crazy rampage and killed its creators, it’s not unlikely that the scientific team had put together other experiments beforehand as well, creating one, two, three, or perhaps a whole army of Mewtwo. The strongest evidence to back this up are some clues given out in the manga, and that Mewtwo’s voice was radically different in one of the newest movies as opposed to its voice in the first film.
However, Mewtwo does communicate by telepathy not actual vocal chords, meaning it could have a different voice every time it communicated. Still, it’s an interesting idea that there may be a whole squad of Mewtwos banding together and attempting to overthrow the human race. It’s not too farfetch’d to be the plot of a future Pokemon adventure.
7. First Mega Evolution Seen
Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the Pokemon video games are some of the most popular of all time. With each new game released, the folks at Game Freak Inc. have continuously raised the stakes. Throughout the years they’ve added more evolutions, more types, more move sets, more items and more Pokemon to there infinitely expanding roster. When Pokemon X and Y were released in 2013, they added more content than any other edition, which included the ultra-powerful Mega Evolutions.
Introduced for “Generation VI,” Mega Evolutions are temporary, ultimate forms of Pokemon. Certain species are able to achieve this transformation with the use of a Mega Stone which kicks their stats into overdrive. Even before the transformation was announced, Mewtwo’s Mega Evolved form was actually the first one to appear to the public in the anime, then known as the “Awakened Form.” Although originally Mewtwo was incapable of evolving, the long-rumored MewThree is now a reality, officially called either Mewtwo X or Y.
6. Comes Before Mew in the Pokedex
Mewtwo is one of the few Pokemon that isn’t bubbly and chipper most of the time, and why should he be? The Psychic type Pokemon doesn’t have much to be happy about. It’s the only one of its race, a genetic clone who is alone in the world. He’ll never be able to feel what it’s like running as a group like a heard of Bouffalant, or swim in the coral reefs like a school of Seaking. The closest thing he has to a species is Mew, who was the genetic blueprint that Mewtwo was based on.
There is one silver lining however when it comes to Mewtwo’s data entry in the world famous Pokedex. Holding all the information of every Pokemon that ever existed (weird, considering some have yet to be discovered), Mewtwo actually comes before Mew numerically in the system. Mewtwo is ranked as the #150 Pokemon, while Mew is ranked one after at #151, despite providing the modified DNA needed in order to make Mewtwo. While he might be bummed he’s the only one of his race (that we know of), he can at least take some solace knowing that he comes before the Pokemon that gave birth to him.
5. His Smash Bros. Trailer References the 16th Pokemon Movie
While he’s not part of the original roster in Wii U’s Super Smash Bros., Mewtwo is available through recently released downloadable content. Fans of the franchise were psyched to learn that the Pokemon brawler would be returning to duke it out with Mario and company once again after its introduction in Melee in 2001. In anticipation, Nintendo wet the mouths of hungry video gamers when they released Mewtwo’s long awaited character trailer, which showed him knocking around opponents like Samus, Luigi and Zelda.
As a bit of an Easter Egg, the trailer also references the 16th Pokemon movie, Genesect and the Legend Awakened. It’s hard to believe that the Pokemon franchise already has 16 movies (to put it into perspective, Bond only has 24), which might make some Poke-fans feel rather old. Released in 2013, the plot features both Genesect, a newer addition, as well as fan favorite Mewtwo in prominent roles. The Super Smash Bros. trailer gives the film a nice little nod when, battling in the Pokemon arena, Mewtwo comes face to face with Genesect, referencing their confrontation in the 16th film.
4. He’s a Sore Loser in Super Smash Bros.
Mewtwo might be powerful, but it can be a bit of a sore loser when it doesn’t get its way.
The Pokemon joined the impressive roster of Nintendo characters in 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube, quickly becoming a fan favorite. One of the most popular characters from the franchise, it was only a matter of time before the Pokemon became a playable character in the fighting game which features nearly every Nintendo heavy-hitter. Although he was questionably missing from the sequel for the Wii, he’s now back in the revamped version for Nintendo’s Wii U.
While he’s an impressive fighter, picking Mewtwo as your brawler doesn’t always ensure a victory. In a game that features the likes of Link, Mega Man, Samus and fellow Pokemon Pikachu and Lucario, the competition is fierce, to say the least. Usually the characters that lose at the end of the match will happily clap for the victor, but Mewtwo is one of the few who refuses to applaud. As is its true nature, Mewtwo instead just crosses its arms and looks off to the distance, refusing to pay its adversary any respect. That’s cold.
3. He Has Two Megaevolutions
As of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there are a total of 46 species that are able to perform a Mega Evolution. Of those 46, only two have the ability to perform two separate evolutions. One of them is Charizard, and the other, of course, is Mewtwo. Introduced in Pokemon X and Y, Mewtwo can perform two Mega Evolved transformations depending on which version of the game you have.
If you have Pokemon X, Mewtwo will become, you guessed it, Mewtwo X. This version of the character alters its type to become part Psychic and part Fighting. Its appearance is similar to his normal version, except for its pointer horns and increased shoulder armor. Mewtwo Y, on the other hand, stays as a strictly Psychic type, but has a massive boosted special attack stat. His appearance also drastically changes from his counterpart, with an elongated head reminiscent of the xenomorph from Alien, and its tail being placed to the back of its skull.
2. He’s the Strongest Pokemon in the Game
When the original Red and Blue games were released, Mewtwo was considered pretty much unbeatable. Its stats far surpassed anything else in the game, making him the strongest offensive fighter in the franchise at that point. Since then, hundreds of other species have come into the mix, including the addition of Dark type Pokemon which are super effective against Psychic types. With the inclusion of dozens of other legendary Pokemon with even beefier attacks, Mewtwo has all but been left behind in the dust. He was still good, but not great.
Fortunately, with the inclusion of Mega Evolution, Mewtwo is right back on top. Mewtwo Y and X are now tied with Mega Rayquaza (another Legendary beast of a Pokemon) with the highest base stats of 780. The Y version is especially powerful, with a mind-boggling special attack base stat of 194. Just to put that into perspective, the original Mewtwo only had a base stat of 154, and he was at one time considered the most powerful in the series! Even Arceus, the Pokemon God, only has a base stat total of 720, 60 points less than Mega Evolved Mewtwo. It says a lot when your power even surpasses that of a God.
1. Mewtwo Currency
Perhaps the weirdest, most intriguing tidbit of information regarding Mewtwo is that it has official currency with its face on it. We’re not making this up, this is real money somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be the sovereign state in free association of New Zealand, Niue. In 2001 the Niue government issued a set of five Pokemon coins which consisted of Pikachu, Meowth, Squirtle, Bulbasuar, and Charmander. Each coin had an actual $1 amount in Niue currency, and since then fans everywhere have been scouring the internet looking to “catch them all.”
Since Mewtwo trumps pretty much all other Pokemon, it would only make since that its coin would trump all others as well. Unlike the previous five coins which are each worth $1, the Mewtwo collectible coin is worth $10 in Niue currency when it was released a short time after. While these coins are really just a novelty item for collectors, it’s a testament to Mewtwo’s popularity that along with shirts, hats and lunchboxes, it even has money printed with its face on it. Boss status.