Pokémon Red & Blue were released around the same time that the Internet became commonly available in homes across North America. The creators of the game could not have predicted the kind of reaction they would get when they secretly added Mew into the game, yet made it unavailable to players.
The presence of Mew within Pokémon Red & Blue was like an urban legend had come to life and it inspired numerous false secrets concerning other hidden Pokémon.
It is due to the existence of Pokémon like Mew and Celebi that players have gone through the files of every Pokémon game, in order to look for more secrets. Game Freak has been quite accommodating in this regard, as almost every Pokémon game has creatures buried deep within the code that were only meant to be seen by the most dedicated of fans.
We are here today to look at the Pokémon that are impossible to encounter within their games and to tell you to get them. From the Pokémon that was brought back from the dead (and never distributed) to the most unusual trade of all time.
Here are 20 Pokémon That Are IMPOSSIBLE To Find (And How To Catch Them)!
20 Eternal Flower Floette - Pokémon X & Y
It is revealed in Pokémon X & Y that the Kalos region was once savaged by a war which pitted humans and Pokémon against other.
The player encounters a man named AZ who existed during the ancient war and has lingered on for thousands of years. AZ used the life energy of Pokémon to resurrect his beloved Floette, which abandoned him once it had realized how it had been brought back to life.
AZ and his Floette are reunited at the conclusion of Pokémon X & Y's story. Game Freak were originally going to distribute AZ's Floette (known as the Eternal Flower Floette) as an event Pokémon. This version of Floette possessed the unique Fairy-type move known as the Light of Ruin.
The Eternal Flower Floette was never officially distributed, which means that it can only be acquired through hacking Pokémon X & Y.
19 Shiny Zygarde - Pokémon Sun & Moon
A lot of fans assumed that Zygarde would become the mascot of Pokémon Z, which is the theoretical third version of the Kalos games. Pokémon Z never came to pass, but Zygarde received a lot of attention in Pokémon Sun & Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, which suggests that more was planned for the Pokémon at one point in time.
Zygarde was given two new forms in Pokémon Sun & Moon. All three of these forms are "Shiny-locked" which means that the player can never legitimately encounter a Shiny version of that Pokémon, no matter how many times they reset.
Shiny palettes still exist for these Pokémon, in order to prevent the game from crashing in the event of one of them being encountered. The only way to see a Shiny Zygarde is to hack the game or use a code (with an Action Replay device) to encounter one.
18 CHIKUCHIKU Beedrill - Pokémon Red & Green
The Pokémon games were designed with the idea of cooperating with other people. This is why you can't catch them all without meeting other people who own the game and are willing to trade with you.
Those Pokémon fans without friends (or the dastardly folk playing the games on an emulator) could only get a taste of trading through the ones offered by NPCs. Each Pokémon game has several in-game trades, which might be the only way to catch certain Pokémon, depending on the game in question.
Fans have discovered that there is an unused in-game trade within the Pokémon Red & Green. It was once meant to be possible to trade a Butterfree for a Beedrill named CHIKUCHIKU. This trade also exists in Pokémon Yellow, though the Beedrill is called Marty in the English versions of the game.
A fan discovered a method of accessing these trades in Pokémon Yellow.
17 Mew - Pokémon Red & Blue
The existence of Mew within Pokémon Red & Blue spawned countless fake methods on how to acquire it within the game.
These ranged from using Cut to slash the tires of the van by the S. S. Anne to catching three copies of every Pokémon and inputting a secret code that will let you enter the garden behind Bill's house, where you would encounter a Mew.
Nintendo used to distribute Mew through special live events. As these events no longer occur for Pokémon Red & Blue, you can't catch Mew legitimately in the game.
It is possible to catch a Mew by the time you reach Misty's Gym, through the use of a glitch. It's possible to catch an Abra and use its Teleport ability to escape from battle with a specific trainer so that you will encounter a wild Mew on Route 24.
16 Staryu (With Egg Moves) - Pokémon Gold & Silver
Pokémon Gold & Silver introduced breeding to the series. This is where you leave two compatible Pokémon in a Day Care Center and an egg will magically appear after you take a certain amount of steps.
Pokémon breeding was useful, as you could use a Ditto to create duplicates of hard to find Pokémon, such as the starters. Breeding Pokémon also allowed you to pass moves onto the offspring that they cannot normally acquire.
Staryu was programmed with three obtainable egg moves in Pokémon Gold & Silver that it cannot actually acquire. Staryu was meant to be able to learn Aurora Beam, Barrier, and Supersonic through breeding.
As Staryu is genderless, it can only breed with Ditto, which means that it has no way of accessing these moves without hacking the game.
15 Most Of The Shiny Unown - Pokémon Gold & Silver
Shiny Pokémon were introduced in Pokémon Gold & Silver. It wasn't always possible to tell if the Pokémon was Shiny or not, depending on if you were playing the games on an original Game Boy, as they would appear to be the same color as every other Pokémon of their kind.
It wasn't possible to acquire every Shiny Pokémon in Pokémon Gold & Silver, thanks to a quirk in the programming. The chance of a Pokémon being Shiny or not was determined by the Pokémon's Individual Values, which were set numbers for specific creatures.
In the case of the Unown Pokémon and their variants, it was only possible for two of them to be Shiny. Ironically enough, it was only the I and V versions of Unown that could be Shiny in Pokémon Gold & Silver. You needed to hack the stats of other Unowns to see their Shiny forms.
14 Shiny Spiky-Eared Pichu - Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver
It is possible to trade a Pokémon from Ruby & Sapphire to the current generation of games. This requires the use of several specific consoles and cartridges, but it is possible.
You will even receive a special certificate in Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire for trading a Pokémon in this way.
Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver has a Pokémon that cannot be traded outside of the game. The Spiky-eared Pichu was given away as part of a special event and it is forever locked to those games.
The Spiky-eared Pichu has set values which means that it will never be a male or a Shiny Pokémon. A Shiny Palette exists for the Spiky-eared Pichu, which means that you need to hack the game in order to see it.
13 ???? Arceus - Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
One of the most mysterious Pokémon types is ??? which was used exclusively for Curse. The ??? type has no strengths or weaknesses, as no Pokémon was ever assigned to have the type. This wasn't really an issue, as Curse doesn't deal direct damage, which means it doesn't need the benefits of a STAB bonus to make it better.
Arceus has the Multitype Ability, which means that it can change its type depending on the Plate that it has equipped. There are Plates for every single type... except for ???
Arceus still has a unique color palette for its ??? variant, which was likely added to prevent any possibility of the game crashing. As no ??? Plate exists within the game, you need to rely on cheats in order to see/use the mythical ???-type Arceus.
12 Shiny Hoopa & Shiny Volcanion
There have been precious few secrets to Pokémon fans over the years. The fervor created by Mew in Pokémon Red & Blue has caused fans to go sifting through the files of the games in search of more hidden gems. The fact that the Pokémon games have appeared on systems that were easy to emulate made these searches even easier.
The fact that the Nintendo 3DS hadn't been properly hacked yet didn't stop fans from uncovering the secret Legendary Pokémon before they were officially revealed. Hoopa and Volcanion were discovered almost immediately in Pokémon X & Y through the use of save editors.
Hoopa and Volcanion were both Shiny-locked and could only be acquired through events, which means that you have to hack the game in order to see their Shiny forms.
11 Bonus Disc Celebi & Pikachu - Pokémon Colosseum
Pokémon Red & Blue were some of the buggiest games ever made. This prompted Game Freak to put a lot more care into the later games. A few nasty glitches did slip through, such as the infamous Berry Glitch in Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire which prevents berries from growing.
In order to fix this glitch, Game Freak added methods of implementing a patch through later games. One method of doing this required the use of the bonus disc that came with Pokémon Colosseum, which would also grant you a Jirachi.
The Japanese version of the Pokémon Colosseum bonus disc gave you a free Celebi and a special Pikachu. These Pokémon weren't part of the English version of the game, but the events were still programmed into the bonus disc. It is possible to access these downloads through the use of an Action Replay device.
10 Faraway Island Mew - Pokémon Emerald
The secret Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Red & Blue and Pokémon Gold & Silver were directly given to players at special events.
The method of giving these Pokémon away changed in the third generation of games, as they were already programmed into the game from the start. Game Freak distributed special items that you needed to possess in order to meet the Pokémon.
The special event items are usually distributed to all regions. One of the exceptions to this was the Old Sea Map from Pokémon Emerald, which you could use to travel to a special island that contains a Mew.
This item was only given away to players who attended the Pokémon Festa event in 2005, which was held in Japan. The only way to access the Old Sea Map (and the Mew) was to hack it into your game.
9 The Shiny Legendary Pokémon Of Unova - Pokémon Black & White
While not all Legendary Pokémon are Shiny-locked: you will still have a terrible time trying to acquire the Shiny versions. This is because the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokémon are minuscule. There are ways of increasing your chances, but they are only applicable to Pokémon that can be made through breeding.
You won't be able to reset the game thousands of times to meet the Shiny versions of the mascot Pokémon of Pokémon Black & White, as the encounter with them is an important part of the story and the chances of them being Shiny are set to zero.
You will need to hack the game in order to see them. It became possible to meet Shiny versions of Reshiram and Zekrom in Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, but not in their debut games.
8 Nosepass With Head Smash - Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver
Nosepass is one of many Pokémon that have been reviled for their design. To many fans, Nosepass and its evolution look like a Moai statue wearing a set of Groucho glasses. It is joined by the likes of Muk and Garbodor among the ranks of Pokémon that are generally ignored for aesthetic reasons.
The people at Game Freak seemed to have let their feelings for Nosepass be known in Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver, as it possesses the ability to learn Head Smash through breeding. This is impossible to achieve without hacking, as no Pokémon in the Mineral group possessed this move at the time.
Nosepass lost the ability to learn Head Smash through breeding in Pokémon Black & White. Pokémon from the Mineral group were later given Head Smash, which means that Nosepass could have been able to learn the move in later games if Game Freak hadn't changed things.
7 Charming Snorlax - Pokémon Gold & Silver
The inclusion of unused moves with Staryu could possibly be explained by a late decision to make the Pokémon genderless. Snorlax also possesses the ability to learn Charm through breeding, but it cannot access it, as no other Pokémon can pass it down.
The only Pokémon in Snorlax's egg group in Pokémon Gold & Silver that can pass down Charm is the female version of Nidoran. Egg moves can only be passed down through the father, which means that Snorlax cannot access Charm without hacking.
It would finally become possible to breed a Snorlax with Charm in Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, as it could acquire the move through breeding a Bulbasaur and passing it down through other Pokémon, which can eventually make its way to a baby Snorlax.
6 Celebi - Pokémon Gold & Silver
Celebi was the secret Legendary Pokémon of the second generation of games. It was given away at events in the same manner that Mew was in Pokémon Red & Blue, though it was possible to encounter it in the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal through the use of a phone adapter.
You could not access this event in the English language versions of the game, which meant that Celebi was out of the reach of most players.
It was possible to catch a Celebi in Pokémon Gold & Silver through the use of a glitch. The Celebi Egg glitch allows you to breed pretty much any Pokémon in the game, so long as you had access to certain moves.
If you could create a Pokémon that would have Beat Up as its third move when it hatched from an egg, then it was possible to turn the Pokémon into a Celebi.
5 Bug-Catching Contest Venomoth - Pokémon Gold & Silver
One of the biggest new additions to Pokémon Gold & Silver was an active clock that came with a day/night cycle. This meant that certain events would only happen on certain days, while some Pokémon would only come out during specific times of the day.
One of the timed events that happened in Pokémon Gold & Silver was the Bug-Catching Contest, which was only held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The player was limited to the Bug-type Pokémon that could be encountered in Johto's National Park.
It was originally possible to encounter a Venomoth during the Bug-Catching Contest, but this is technically impossible due to a programming oversight, which gives you a -1% of meeting Venomoth. Fans have since discovered a way to make it possible to encounter Venomoth during the Contest with the use of a Gameshark code.
4 Shiny Manaphy - Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
There have been lots of different Pokémon spinoff games over the years, to the point where they far outnumber the main games in the series. The main Pokémon games have rarely interacted with these titles, save for the Pokémon Stadium games and some planned connection to Pokémon Go that was never officially activated in the latest games.
The Pokémon Ranger games have had the capacity to pass rare Pokémon into the main games. This was the only way to acquire a Manaphy (outside of trading) in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl.
Manaphy is Shiny-locked, but it is possible to acquire a Shiny Manaphy through an oversight in the game's programming. This requires the player to trade the egg before it hatches, which gives it a chance to avoid the Shiny-lock. You still have the same minuscule chance to create a Shiny Pokémon, so it could take a while.
3 Gamestop Celebi - Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
As the technology of Nintendo's handheld consoles improved, the methods through which event Pokémon were distributed began to increase. When the Pokémon series moved to the Nintendo DS, it became possible to distribute Pokémon through the use of the system's wireless capabilities.
The secret Legendary Pokémon would often be distributed through special DS cartridges that were sent to stores. Gamestop held a lot of these distribution events, which resulted in a specific Pokémon being sent out early.
A version of Celebi was included on one of the Gamestop cartridges, but its distribution event was canceled and a different Celebi was given away at a later date. The files of all of the distribution cartridges have since been leaked online, which means that you can access this Celebi through the use of a flash cart device.
2 Arceus - Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
The most powerful event Legendary Pokémon of all time is Arceus. It was meant to be encountered in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, but the item that was meant to be used to find it was never distributed. Arceus was given away through a separate event, but you can't access the one within the game without cheating.
Game Freak was originally going to give away an item called the Azure Flute. You were originally meant to play the Azure Flute on top of the Spear Pillar, which created a staircase that would allow you to ascend to the Hall of Origin, where you will encounter Arceus.
No one is sure why the Azure Flute was never distributed. It has been suggested that Game Freak might have gotten cold feet over the religious connotations of the original Arecus encounter and scrapped it at a later date.
1 Bart The Mew - Pokémon Yellow
The in-game trades in Pokémon Red & Blue gave you access to Pokémon that you couldn't find anywhere else in the game. These trades encouraged the player to seek out certain Pokémon and in some cases cause them to evolve in order to make them suitable for trading with the NPC trainers.
Pokémon Yellow has three unused trades, two of which require you to trade a Pokémon for the exact same kind of creature. These trades are possibly a leftover from a testing stage of development. It was once going to be possible to trade a Pidgeot for a Pidgeot, and a Mew for a Mew.
If you can find the way to access the unused in-game trades within Pokémon Yellow, then you can swap a Mew for another Mew named Bart. The method for acquiring this Mew requires a lot of messing around with the code of the game to access the trade, but it is possible to get a Mew this way.
Can you think of any other Pokémon that are impossible to catch that we forgot? Sound off in the comments!