Pokémon has seemingly been around forever at this point. Though barely past its twentieth anniversary, the Japanese franchise has reached such massive proportions that it is sort of difficult to imagine that there was once in fact a time in which nobody had the slightest inkling that these cute little capsule monsters could be such a big hit.
Sure, they aren’t exactly for everybody (though you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to cuddle with a pikachu), but Pokémon has become so ubiquitous these days that your ninety year old grandmother likely has some basic understanding of what it is and how it works.
Pokémon super fans, however, are sometimes hard to come across. Yes, everyone might recognize Pikachu’s adorable yellow visage, but very, very few know what it takes to get your hands on an Alakazam in Pokémon Red or to conquer the Trial Chamber in Pokémon Black and White.
The games are sometimes considered to be a bit too straightforward and repetitive, but the best of the best know just how in-depth some of these games can be. To them, the Elite Four is just the tip of the iceberg, and unlocking some of the series’ most secret areas and creatures can take hundreds of hours worth of dedication.
Think you know Pokémon? Here are the 15 Hidden Pokémon Only True Fans Can Find (And 15 Hidden Locations).
30 Pokémon: Ultra Beast Pokémon in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Ultra Beast Pokémon— an incredibly rare, extra-dimensional Pokémon variant— tend to be the primary driving force behind most purchases of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Representing an entirely new set of quests available upon the completion of the regular storyline, there’s a total of eleven of these baddies players are tasked with taking down.
In keeping with the funky, parallel-dimension vibe of the main game, the Ultra Beast Pokémon usually appear from ultra wormholes, and probably offer some of the most difficult challenges in the entire Pokémon series.
As a result, only those who’ve sunk hundreds of hours into the game can claim to have bested them all.
29 Location: Giratina’s Chamber in Turnback Cave
Turnback Cave may be a bit on-the-nose in terms of nomenclature, but bold Pokémon aficionados will tell you that this section of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl really is appropriately named.
Turnback Cave is maze-like and sinister, and, worst of all, though the player is tasked with finding three stone pillars within these tunnels, they aren’t always accessible.
So only those who prove themselves to be true risk-takers will have made it all the way to the cave system’s final chamber.
In it, trainers will face off against the ultra-rare Giratina—a once in a lifetime chance.
28 Pokémon: Darkrai
We already know that Generation Four’s legendary Dark-type creature Darkrai was available briefly via event-invitation in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
However, this mysterious being could also have been obtained in an optional downloadable mission in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
It was once possible to transfer Darkrai from that game to other Gen Four titles, but the download is unfortunately no longer available.
Those with a Diamond and Pearl save file containing a captured Darkrai have to be a rarity these days.
27 Location: Hidden Grottoes
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are famous for the introduction of secret grottos— hidden little alcoves that have a pretty good chance of harboring some rare, useful items and Pokémon.
Though useful, you’ll really have to be at the top of your game at all times to come across each and every of these secret locations in your first playthrough.
There are fifteen grottos in total to be found throughout the game, and new players would do well to seek these out in order to get a helping hand early on in their adventure.
26 Pokémon: Genesect
The P2 Labs in Pokémon Black and White might be able to contend with Generation One’s Lavender Town for the title of creepiest location in the Pokémon games. Unlike everyone’s least favorite purple place, however, you aren’t likely to run across the P2 Labs unless you are really looking for them.
To gain access to them, trainers will need to have the surf ability available, and they’ll also have to have beaten the game’s main storyline.
These creepy laboratories were once used by Team Plasma during their attempts to revive and modify the ancient Pokémon Genesect.
Unfortunately, the only way to get your hands on a Genesect is to have Nintendo trade one to you at a special event.
25 Location: The Alternate World
Remember when Pokémon was nothing more than a happy little handheld game about traveling between towns named after colors of the rainbow?
That seems like a long, long time ago, as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon took the town-hopping idea of the original games to its logical extreme: hopping through different dimensions.
To be fair, the Alternate World isn’t all that crazy: the only key difference between our world and this twisted realm from beyond the nether is that the night and day cycles are opposite those of the normal world. Crazy, we know.
24 Pokémon: Shiny Variants in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Shiny variants were the apple of every trainers eye when Pokémon Sun and Moon released in late 2016. An approximation of the much-sought-after holographic trading cards available in the physical card game, Shiny Pokémon were— and still are— ridiculously difficult to obtain.
The most accurate method for capturing one of these creatures is typically thought to start by entering one of the rainbow-tinted wormholes that start showing up somewhere around 3,000 light years into an ultra wormhole.
Some crafty players have managed to come across Shinies by exploiting the game’s S.O.S. mechanic, though that seems to be much more time consuming and random.
23 Location: Flower Paradise
Flower Paradise is yet another event-specific location requiring access via a Nintendo representative’s invite.
This one is perhaps slightly more notable because players get to take Dr. Oak along for the ride in Pokémon Diamond and Platinum.
A Shaymin will be waiting on the island for any prestigious players, though Flower Paradise is actually accessible via the exploitation of a finicky surf glitch.
If you want to lay eyes on this famous floral wonderland yourself, either get a job at Nintendo or sharpen your game exploitation skills.
22 Pokémon: Region Exclusives in Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go has sort of been superseded in popularity by the recently released Pokémon Quest, but trainers uninterested in collecting a group of bizarrely blocky capsule creatures are still likely to stick to the older augmented reality app.
Catching them all in this game requires players to be world travelers (or at least have friends in far-off locales), as a few Pokémon remain totally region-exclusive.
At launch, four monsters— Farfetch’d, Mr. Mime, Tauros, and Kangaskhan— were, and still are, only available in certain areas, so go out and explore the world.
21 Location: Ten Carat Hill
Ten Carat Hill mocks players as soon as they set foot on Melemele Island in Pokémon Sun and Moon: it isn’t too far from the beginning location, but trainers need to be able to use one of their Poké Rides to get there.
This means that you’ll need to get your hands on either a Sharpedo, Machamp, Tauros, or Charizard to explore this elusive section of the game.
Ten Carat Hill is host to a whole suite of rare items, so late-game players might want to return to Melemele to stock up.
20 Pokémon: Mimikyu in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Some dislike the design of Generation Seven’s apparent Pikachu knock-off Mimikyu, but the lore surrounding this strange Pokémon should make it the recipient of a bit more communal sympathy.
Mimikyu is actually a creature entirely separate of everyone’s favorite electric mouse, and it spends its time cosplaying as pikachu because it feels that people will be more likely to take to it.
Mimikyu can be found in the abandoned Thrifty Megamart on Route 14 on Ula’Ula Island.
However, trainers will have to complete the Island Challenge before they’ll be able to get their hands on this poor little guy.
19 Location: GameFreak Offices in Pokémon Sun and Moon
GameFreak, the development studio responsible for just about every Pokémon game ever released, is known for hiding more than a few not-so-subtle Easter eggs in their games.
In many mainline Pokémon titles, players can come across an in-game approximation of the GameFreak offices, complete with a set of developers hard at work on their computers.
In Sun and Moon, the office can be found in the building next to the Pokécenter in Heahea city.
This time around, you can actually challenge GameFreak’s Shigeki Morimoto to a battle. Be careful, though— he is definitely not a pushover.
18 Pokémon: Marshadow in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Pokémon trainers the world over were pretty hyped to hear that GameFreak would be implementing the series’ first ghost/fighting type Pokémon into the at-the-time recently released Pokémon Sun and Moon.
While this did come to fruition, Marshadow wasn’t discoverable in the game itself. In fact, for a limited time during October of 2017, video game retail chain GameStop would hand out physical code cards to players, who could then use those codes to get their hands on this super unique creature.
Given that the window of opportunity has long since past, those looking for this super rare pokémon may just about be out of luck (unless they’re lucky enough to get one in a trade).
17 Location: Trial Chamber in Pokémon Black and White
Capturing Terrakion is practically a right of passage for those who still play the Nintendo DS Pokémon games.
Following a grueling journey across Victory Road in the original Pokémon Black and White, players must ascend a mountain to find the hidden area.
Provided that players have a Pokémon equipped with the strength skill, they can enter the Trial Chamber and finally take on one of Black and White’s most difficult, elusive creatures.
Those looking to attempt this would do well to stock up on ultra balls, as Terrakion won’t be captured easily.
16 Pokémon: Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go
Though Pokémon Go didn’t really offer much in terms of PvE combat at launch, things picked up once a June 2017 update introduced Raid Bosses— powerful, legendary Pokémon of more than 20,000 CP each.
Players of all teams could ban together and help to bring down these creatures, though the fights could not exceed more than an hour at a time.
Ho-Oh, which was only available for about a month in November and December of 2017, was considered to be one a nearly insurmountable opponent, and catching him—let alone defeating him— would have required a tremendous showing of skill and serendipity.
15 Location: The Unknown Cave
Also referred to as the Cerulean Cave in some versions of the games, The Unknown Cave actually appears in more than one game in the Pokémon franchise.
An extraordinarily tough challenge, the trek to the inner recesses of this cavern is so dangerous that only those who have bested the Elite Four and entered the Hall of Fame may enter.
Inside, trainers will be made to battle through several floors playing host to quite a few high-level Pokémon.
Should a trainer make it all the way to the final chamber, the legendary Mewtwo will be waiting to take out the rest of your remaining Pokémon.
14 Pokémon: Cosmog in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Cosmog isn’t too terrifically rare now that Pokémon Sun and Moon has been out for a while and most players are pretty late-game savvy.
However, Cosmog still represents much of the mysticism and Lovecraftian intrigue that emerges in much of the post-game content.
To get your hands on this crazy creature, you’ll have to first complete the main story line. Once that’s been taken care of, head to the altar of the corresponding version of your game, head through a portal, and make your way to the lake of the opposite version of which you are playing.
Head to the top of that altar, and Cosmog will be added to your inventory without a fight.
13 Location: Birth Island
Birth Island was an insanely difficult-to-access location in Pokémon Firered, Leafgreen, and Emerald which happened to be the home of the mythical Pokémon Deoxys.
Unfortunately for most trainers, the island could only be made accessible through the use of the Aurora Ticket, which could only be received from— you guessed it— a trade with a Nintendo representative at a special event.
Since Nintendo has long since moved on from these Generation Three titles, Birth Island has essentially been lost to history.
For those still hoping for a Deoxys, unless someone out there still has an original GBA cart and is willing to trade with you, you may be out of luck.
12 Pokémon: Snorlax in Pokémon Go
Snorlax is infamous for blocking roads, lazing around, and holding the title of least-active Pokémon to ever be introduced to the lore.
However, a beloved Generation One icon, Pokémon Go players are likely still falling over themselves to add one of these bulbous things to their collections.
THis is easier said than done, however, as— perhaps ironically— Niantic has seen fit to force players into hatching 10km eggs should they be on the hunt for this massive monster.
Funny to think that one of the most notoriously lazy Pokémon in franchise history would require so much activity.
11 Location: Mirage Island
Mirage Island is one of the rare Generation Three islands that players can actually visit without the express written consent of Nintendo themselves.
However, if you can believe it, this island might actually be more difficult to get to than some of the islands requiring a key from the game’s publisher.
Mirage Island is only accessible in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald if a randomly generated number matches the last two bytes of the personality stat of any Pokémon in a trainer’s current roster.
Given that the island is really only notable for its liechi berries, this excursion is hardly worth the effort.
10 Pokémon: Mew in Pokémon Red and Blue
Mew is one of— if not the most— mythical Pokémon to ever be introduced to the series. Hailing from the first generation of games, Mew is so incredibly rare that his encounter rate in Red and Blue is actually zero percent.
That’s right— he’s technically unobtainable in the wild, and the only way to really catch them all is to have a Nintendo representative trade a Mew to you at a special event.
For those who just won’t quite despite impossible odds, there are some ways to exploit the game into revealing Mew in battle, though it’s a tactic reserved for the truly passionate.
9 Location: The Ruins of Alph
The Ruins of Alph is probably one of the most unique explorable locations in Heartgold and Soulsilver. A derelict and mysterious ruins, the area pays homage to the origins one of the series’ most fantastical set of pokemon: unown.
The unown are famous for their 26 total variations, each based off of a letter of the anglo-saxon alphabet.
However, what really sets them apart is their lore. They aren’t particularly useful in battle, but a journey through the Ruins of Alph is bound to excite any long-term fan of this Japanese series.
8 Pokémon: Mewtwo
Infamous experiment-gone-wrong Mewtwo can actually be encountered in some form in every Pokémon title from Generation One to Generation Three.
As previously mentioned, in Gen One and Gen Three, brave players who’ve already championed the Elite Four can risk a journey through the Cerulean Cave, at the end of which lies an incredibly difficult fight with Mewtwo.
Generation Two games handle things a bit differently, however. Mewtwo can’t be encountered directly, but his presence can be felt thanks to a lone Berserk Gene which may be found in a nearby lake. Unfortunately, the Cerulean Cave will be totally unexplorable due to collapse.
7 Location: Wayward Cave
Wayward Cave certainly lives up to it’s name, as it is found far from the beaten path of Pokémon Platinum Route 206.
To access this secret cavern, players will need to have earned a forest badge, and have a Pokémon that can make use of the flash ability, and another that can utilize the cut ability.
Obscured by a section of Route 206, the well hidden cave will yield some exciting discoveries for inquisitive players: a max ether, a grip claw, a rare candy, and the Earthquake ability.
6 Pokémon: Generation I Alakazam
Alakazam is an incredibly rare Generation One Pokémon thanks to more than a few quirky factors: for starters, he’s one of a very small number of creatures which may only evolve via trading.
This means that, in order to evolve the Abra you spent so much time tracking down, you’ll need a friend who also happens to own a copy of the game.
This also means that those using emulators are sort of stuck unless they employ some tricky work-arounds.
Plus, we all know Abra, the base-variant of Alakazam, to be an evasive, difficult little beast capable of dodging out of 99% of encounters.
Today, those with a legitimately acquired Alakazam must be few and far between.
5 Location: Newmoon Island in Pokémon Diamond and Platinum
You know a location is rare when there are threads on Gamefaqs questioning weather or not the place actually exists at all.
Pokémon Diamond and Platinum’s Newmoon Island seems to have quite literally reached mythical status, with so few players actually setting foot on it that the location and it’s sole inhabitant have been relegated to the history books.
Newmoon Island could only be accessed by way of the member cards Nintendo distributed at a few special events.
As a result, Darkrai, the only obtainable Pokémon on the island, has been effectively locked away. Resourceful players may be able to find a members card code online, however.
4 Pokémon: Porygon in Pokémon Go
Porygon is a Normal type Generation One Pokémon that was created from programming code. It is a rare and valuable find among the remaining Pokémon Go player base.
Though obtainable via a regular 5km egg, Porygon is made much rarer than some Pokémon hatched from 10km eggs due to a diluted pool of monsters available from the shorter-distance egg.
In total, at least 42 creatures can hatch from a 5km egg, so the chances of a Porygon popping out of an egg are pretty slim.
3 Location: Secret Islet
Secret bases were hidden locations scattered across the Pokéverse which were intended as neat little hidey-holes which players could decorate and hang out in.
Though they weren’t overly useful, they were a nice little distraction, and they introduced an air of the Animal Crossing franchise into Nintendo’s similarly-cutesy Pokémon series.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire hosted the appropriately titled Secret Islet, a small island on which a very secret base could be found.
Sure, it may not have been a vital gameplay element, but those who came across this well-hidden alcove likely felt pretty proud of themselves.
2 Pokémon: Holiday Exclusive Pokémon in Pokémon Go
We're sure you don’t actually need us to explain how one might come across a holiday exclusive pokémon in Pokémon Go— it should be pretty self explanatory.
Still, these particular pets are pretty rare to come across these days. With a dwindling player base, less and less are around to snatch these one-of-a-kind Pokémon variants.
In the future, some of these creatures will be very rare, and the time will likely come when those who still have a holiday-specific Pokémon from several seasons ago will be a part of a very, very slim minority.
Hang on to that Santa Hat Raichu— it could become a real rarity sooner than you think.
1 Location: The S.S. Anne Truck
What’s the most well-known glitch available in the first generation of Pokémon games? Most people would probably jump right to the infamous Missing No. glitch, but there’s an equally bizarre exploit which enables players to warp over to a seemingly innocuous truck located near the S.S. Anne’s dock.
For whatever reason, this truck sprite was coded to be a tile on which the player could move, which made it accessible through a semi-complicated glitch.
Shortly after this discovery, a rumor spread amongst the community that Mew could be encountered on this tile, though those rumors were eventually proven to be false.
It remains an interesting piece of game history, though.
Can you think of any other hidden Pokémon or locations that only true Pokémon fans know wabout? Sound off in the comments!