Pokémon: 15 Things You Didn't Know About Fossil Pokémon

Kabutops in Pokemon Red

Remember when you first started playing Pokémon and you would happen upon a Fossil? For many, this item acquisition, at least in the Generation I games Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow, was rather uneventful. But it turns out that Fossils are very useful key items, ranging from the Generation I games all the way to the Generation VII games. If you know the steps and understand the various locations in the games where you can find and evolve Fossils, your Pokédex will suddenly become that much better, as fossil Pokémon are so rare that even Gym Trainers desire them, and few actually have any at all.

Once you know more about these Fossil Pokémon, you’ll be on your way to mastering the game. We have facts and tips on all seven generations, so whatever game you’re playing these days, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Fossil Pokémon.

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Pokemon Emerald Devon Corporation in Rustboro City
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15 Devon Corporation Invented The Techniques For Reviving Fossil Pokémon

Pokemon Emerald Devon Corporation in Rustboro City

In the Pokémon world, the idea of reviving Fossils into real-life Pokémon was first invented by Devon Corporation, supposedly in one of their research laboratories on Cinnabar Island, Kanto Region, south of Pallet Town, although the company is based in Rustboro City, Hoenn.

In the Generation VI games, you can actually visit the head office in Hoenn and check out their Pokémon Producer Machine. This machine gathers the DNA found in the fossil by placing it in a capsule filled with orange Creation Fluid. A supercomputer then creates a blueprint of that Pokémon, and the corporation grows a new Pokémon from this extracted DNA.

In Generations I and III, you can only revive your Fossils by visiting the Devon Corporation laboratory on Cinnabar Island. In Generation II and IV, the gamer finds out that a volcano has erupted on the island, the original Gym has been relocated to the Seafoam Islands, and the once well-known tech haven is no longer.

14 Fossil Pokémon Are Always Part Rock-type

Tyrantrum in Pokemon

Once you have successfully acquired a living Fossil Pokémon, it’s useful to know that all Fossil Pokémon are at least part Rock-type, if not fully Rock-type.

There are two theories as to why this is; one is that the original Pokémon that became the Fossil in the first place was Rock-type, and it is that Rock-type DNA that allows it to become a Fossil in the first place. The other theory is that being Rock-type is a side effect of being revived from a Fossil.

Whatever the reason, it will be Rock-type, or at least part Rock-type! Rock-type Pokémon do not have the best defensive protections, and are particularly susceptible to Grass-type and Water-type Pokémon. However, in offensive properties, they are almost unrivalled, resisted only by Fighting-type, Ground-type, and Steel-type. Plus, if it’s only part Rock-type, the disadvantages of having Rock-type may be countered by whatever other type of Pokémon it is. Kobuto, for example, revived from a Dome Fossil, is Water-type on top of being part Rock-type.

13 Cranidos Is The Only Fossil Pokémon That Is Pure Rock-type

Pokemon Cranidos Fossil

Cranidos (evolving to Rampardos at Level 30) is the one Fossil Pokémon in all of the games that revives as a fully Rock-type Pokémon.

This has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it means Cranidos is an incredibly rare Pokémon. To acquire the Skull Fossil that resurrects Cranidos in the first place, you must go to Eterna City, gather the explorer kit from a man in the house beside the bike shop. You must then go to the Underground, mine the walls, and you can only get the Skull fossil if your trainer ID is an odd number.

The disadvantages of Rock-type Pokémon have already been outlined above, but the advantage to getting Cranidos is that along with being rare, it will also have incredible strength and excellent offensive moves.

Cranidos only becomes available as of Generation IV games, and is most notable for its iron-strong head that can smash away rocks and trees.

12 Fossil Pokémon Are Really Rare And Hard To Catch

Ash's Pokeball

Because the process of finding Fossils and subsequently reviving them is such a long, complicated process, that varies so much from game series to game series, Fossil Pokémon are very rare!

In the Generation I games, because Fossils are Key Items as opposed to just Items, they cannot even be traded outside of the game, making them all the rarer. In Generation II, Fossils are so rare that they are non-existent, and the only Fossil Pokémon available within the game is from an in-game trade for Chansey with a non-player character in Kanto. This is to trade for Aerodactyl.

All in all, there are only eleven fossils found in the entire series, from Generation I to Generation VII. So despite the islight disadvantages to Rock-type Pokémon, the rareness of these Pokémon undoubtedly makes up for that. Few trainers have Fossil Pokémon because of this, which makes the desirability of this kind of Pokémon all the greater.

11 Before Generation IV, Fossils Were Key Items

Pokemon Red and Blue

In Generation I and III, Fossils are Key Items, which means they can only be used once, and they cannot be traded outside of the game. (This does not apply to Generation II, of course, because you cannot acquire Fossils).

It is not until Generation IV that Fossils become slightly more accessible—although the hoops that you must jump through to acquire them seems far more complicated. They are more accessible, however, because Fossils are no longer considered Key Items; they're just Items, which means you can trade them outside of the game at hand.

Because Fossils are so rare, you likely would not ever want to discard your Fossil even in the post-Generation III games. Thus there's another benefit of Fossils becoming Items rather than Key Items: making space in your pack.

All in all, though, this switch is not very consequential, it's reflective that, as of Generation IV, Fossils and Fossil Pokémon will become more diverse!

10 The First Three Fossils Were Introduced Simultaneously In Generation I

Unlike later Generations, it is only Generation I of the Pokémon games that three, rather than two, Fossils are introduced. These are the Helix, Dome, and Old Amber Fossils.

The Helix Fossil becomes Omanyte, a part Rock-type part Water-type Pokémon that evolves into Omastar at Level 40. The Dome Fossil becomes Kabuto, a part Rock-type part Water-type Pokémon that evolves into Kabutops at Level 40. The Old Amber Fossil becomes Aerodactyl, a part Rock-type part Flying-type who can Mega Evolve into Mega Aerodactyl.

In these games, the first time you see a Fossil Pokémon is when you face the dragon-obsessed Trainer Lance as the final member of the Elite Four. He has a Level 60 Aerodactyl.

The Helix and Dome Fossils are found at the end of Mt. Moon, being protected by a Super Nerd. Sadly, the player can only keep one of the Fossils, so choose wisely! The Old Amber, meanwhile, is found in a part of the Pewter Museum of Science. You will need HM01 Cut to access the location.

9 In The Anime, Fossil Pokémon Have Just Been Hibernating For Millions Of Years


Dome Fossil Pokemon Anime Show

Apart from the card-playing games and video games, the most popular offshoot of the Pokémon franchise was the original anime television show. Interestingly, in these renditions, the process for reviving Fossils strays from how it works in the video games.

Instead of using the Pokémon Producer Machine, Fossils have actually just been hibernating for millions of years! Technically, the Pokémon is now experiencing a "new life," yet it holds on to several memories from its "past life."

Methods for reviving Fossils into Fossil Pokémon in the show are far more arbitrary than in the games. For example, in one episode, an Archen was revived thanks to the "dream energy" of Musharna. In other episodes, it is not exactly clear how exactly the Fossil transforms into a Pokémon. While this ambiguity would be frustrating in the games, the anime can do whatever it wants, really, and anyway, "dream energy" sounds pretty cool.

8 Aerodactyl Is The Only Fossil Pokémon That Can Mega Evolve

Aerodactyl the Pokemon

Of all the Fossil Pokémon, Aerodactyl varies from the rest for its unique evolutionary process. Where most other Fossil Pokémon eventually evolve, usually around Level 40, Aerodactyl remains the same throughout the games.

However, in the Generation VI games, the process of Mega Evolution was introduced, and Aerodactyl became the only Fossil Pokémon capable of this sort of evolution. This is a rare attribute for Aerodactyl to possess, considering only 46 Pokémon species are capable of the act!

Mega evolution essentially will improve all aspects of your Pokémon, and its base stat will always be raised 100 points to whatever its original stat total was. To get Aerodactyl to Mega Evolve, the Pokémon itself will need to be holding its personal Mega Stone, and you as the Trainer must be holding a Key Stone. Mega stones are very difficult to find, and appear as sparkles rather than Items on the ground.

7 In Generation III, You Need A Mach Bike To Get Fossil Pokémon

In the Generation III game series (Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald) two more fossils are added to the existing collection: the Root Fossil and the Claw Fossil, which respectively turn into Lileep (part Rock-type, part Bug-type) and Anorith (part Water-type, part Rock-type).

But with the introduction of these games, the process for acquiring fossils becomes much more complicated than it was in the Generation I games. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, you must go east of Lavaridge Town to a desert area where there is the Crumbling Tower. The Fossils are in the top floor of the tower, but you need a mach bike to get there. After all that, reviving the Fossils involves going to Rustboro City, like in Generation I.

When faced with the choice between the Root and Claw Fossil, you can only choose one. The other will reappear, however, at the Fossil maniac’s house, after you’ve fought and defeated the Elite 4.

6 In Generation IV, There Are Several Ways Of Finding Fossils

In the Generation IV game series, Fossils are introduced separately in Diamond and Pearl; the Skull Fossil (Cranidos) is only available in Diamond, and the Armor Fossil (Shieldon) is only available in Pearl. In Platinum, meanwhile, the Fossil you dig up depends on whether your Trainer ID number is an odd or even number.

You can find Fossils in various locations in these games; in Sonnoh they are found in the underground. There are other rare items to be dug up in this area, including the National Pokédex. Once you find this item, you’ll be able to find all the other Fossils introduced in Generation I and Generation III game series.

You can then find the Generation I Fossils in Johto, where you must smash rocks near the Ruins of Alph. The Generation III Fossils can be found doing the same action inside Cliff Cave. Generation IV is when Fossils become less rare, as they have now transitioned from being Key Items to just Items.

To revive Fossils, you must go to the Oreburgh Mining Museum.

5 In Generation V, You Find Fossils At Relic Castle & Revive Them At Nacrene Museum

In the more modern Generation V game series, the process for acquiring Fossils remains complex, and two new Fossils are introduced into the picture: the Cover Fossil, which revives into Tirtouga, and the Plume Fossil, which revives into Archen. There are now nine Fossils that you have the ability of reviving into Fossil Pokémon, so get trading!

In the first installments of Generation V, Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, you can acquire just one of the two Fossils from someone in Relic Castle, so choose wisely. In their sequels, however, you can get the Fossils from Gym Leader Lenora.

Fossils from Generations I, III, and IV can be acquired only after you’ve conquered Gehtsis and Iris, and you can get them from a worker in Twist Mountain.

To revive the Fossils into Pokémon in these games, you must go to Nacrene City Museum, and then use the Pokémon Producer Machine.

4 In Generation VI, Smashing Rocks Is The Key To Getting Fossils

Pokemon Generation VI Omega Sapphire Ruby Games Smashing Rocks Underground

In the Generation VI game series, your collection of Fossils, and therefore Fossil Pokémon, should grow substantially as smashing rocks becomes the primary method for acquiring them (in the Glittering Cave, and only after conquering the Elite 4). Here, you can gather Dome, Helix, Claw, Root, Plume, Cover, Skull, and Armor Fossils.

Two new Fossils are again introduced here: Jaw Fossil, which revives into Tyrunt, and Sail Fossil, which revives into Amaura. You can only get one of these fossils by going to the Glittering Cave, and you must revive it into a Pokémon at a research institution in Ambrette Town.

The Generation VI games are also where The Old Amber is reintroduced, as well as where you can find the Mega Evolve and evolve your Aerodactyl into Mega Aerodactyl. After endless Generations of Aerodactyl not getting to evolve like other Fossil Pokémon, this is an exciting step for the part Rock-type, part Flying-type Pokémon!

3 In Generation VII, You Can Just Buy Fossils

Remember the good old days when you had to search high and low for Fossils, and then go on yet another journey to revive them into Pokémon? Well, search no more!

In the Generation VII game series (Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon), the process becomes far simpler. To acquire Fossils in these games, all you have to do is make your way to the Stone Shop in KoniKoni City. So long as you have money, you'll have Fossils, because you just have to buy them!

In Pokémon Sun, you can only buy Skull and Cover Fossils, however, and in Pokémon Moon, you can only buy Plume and Armor Fossils. You’ll have to trade in order to acquire all four.

To revive your Fossils into Pokémon, you must go to the Pokémon Center on Route 8, turn right into a forested area, and find a person in his van who will revive them for you.

2 Archen/Archeops Is The Only Fossil Pokémon Without Hidden Abilities

If you’re a real, hard-core Pokémon fan who has played each of the game series outlined above, then you should now be pretty familiar with the collection of Fossil Pokémon that the Pokémon franchise has presented to us.

It’s still a surprise still to learn that some Pokémon are not like the others, though. In the case of Fossil Pokémon, so far, it seems as though Aerodactyl has remained the lone wolf of the pack. But that’s actually not the case.

Archen, who evolves from a Plume Fossil, and later evolves at Level 37 into Archeops, is the only Fossil Pokémon that does not have Hidden Abilities! Luckily for Archen/Archeops, though, this part-Rock type, part-Flying type Pokémon is so fast and intelligent that its lack of Hidden Abilities doesn’t mean much, considering it’s non-hidden abilities are so good! Not to mention, considering some Hidden Abilities can actually be a hindrance sometimes, this could be an advantage to reviving Archen.

1 Most Fossil Pokémon Are Inspired By Real World Extinct Creatures

Do you ever play a Pokémon game and think, “wow, this is surprisingly insightful or accurate”? Fans have long drawn parallels of the Pokémon franchise to Japanese bug-catching culture, technological innovation, or birding culture.

When it comes to Fossil Pokémon, parallels have been drawn to the world of paleontology. Indeed, several of the Fossil Pokémon are extremely similar to real life extinct creatures, bugs, fish, and reptiles, as well as mammals and dinosaurs.

For example, Anorith/Armaldo has been inspired from the aquatic extinct creature Anomalocaris. Kabuto/Kabutops has drawn inspiration from an extinct invertebrate group called Trilobites. Lileep/Cradily is based on Sea Lilies that emerged during the Ordovician period, and unsurprisingly, Omanyte/Omastar are inspired from the 400 million year old Ammonite invertebrate group. And of course, Aerodactyl is clearly inspired by the extinct Pterosaur.

Who knew that playing Pokémon would lead to such an educational experience? It can only be expected when we’re talking about Fossil Pokémon.


Did we miss something important about Fossil Pokémon? Let us know in the comments!

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