Pokémon are cute and fun, but they can also be kind of depressing and creepy...

Top 4 depressing Pokemon urban legends

Pokémon are cute and fun, but they can also be kind of depressing and creepy...
This article is over 8 years old and may contain outdated information

There are many urban legends surrounding Pokémon out there, simply because the games are extremely popular, have been around for the longest time, and gamers have a wild imagination. It’s easy for gamers to come up with playground rumors about Pokémon, or creepypastas or character and Pokémon origin stories. 

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Here are my top 4 most depressing Pokémon urban legends, in no particular order. 

1. Creepy Black Edition

There is a creepypasta that exists about a bootleg cartridge. The game’s changes began right from the “Press Start” screen, where under the Pokémon logo was written Black Version, instead of Red Version

After choosing your starter, when going to see your new Pokémon, you would realize that you had an additional little bugger. Alongside Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, you would also have Ghost. He would look like the sprite of the ghosts encountered in Lavender Town. He would be at level 1 and know only one attack: curse – which was non-existent in the first generation.

When using Ghost, Pokémon would be “too scared” to attack him, and when you used curse, it would cause the screen to cut to black, and the Pokémon would disappear. If used against a trainer, curse could kill not only the Pokémon, but its trainer as well. A tombstone would be in the trainer’s place once you returned to the overworld. 

At the end of the game, a screen would let you know this was several years later, and you would see your character as an old man, in Lavender Town, with no Pokémon and no people. Anywhere you went, the music of Lavender Town would follow. And a final battle with Ghost would await you. 

You can read the full story here

2. Lavender Town suicides

Speaking of Lavender Town, the music of the town had a strange effect on kids in Japan.

In 1996, Pokémon Red and Blue (Green in Japan) cartridges were in many, many Gameboys around the world. However, when the game first came out in Japan, there was a spike in suicides and illnesses in children from ages 7 to 12, usually around the time they reached Lavender Town in the game. 

Some people say the music was to blame, causing nausea and suicidal tendencies in children. That is why the music was changed before shipping the game out worldwide. 

3. Post-war status

A legend says that the first generation Pokémon game takes place post-war. The idea came up after analysing and coming to the conclusion that there are hospitals everywhere in the game, there are little or no forms of entertainment, and your rival has no parents (and you have no dad). 

All of the characters are either children or gym leaders, and the men are all either very old or working for organized crime, A.K.A. Team Rocket.

The old man in Viridian City warns you about danger lurking around every corner. And the gym leader Lt. Surge, before battling you, says “Hey kid! What do you think you’re doing here? You won’t live long in combat! That’s for sure! I tell you what kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!”

The first generation of Pokémon games would also be the first peaceful generation in that world.

4. Cubone’s origin story

This one is one of the first ones I had ever heard about, and remains one of my favorites to ponder. 

Cubone is cute. I’ve always wanted one since the day I discovered its existence. And when you read its description in Pokémon Red and Blue, it’s not that bad – “Because it never removes its skull helmet, no one has ever seen this Pokemon’s real face”. So be it.

Moving on to Pokémon Yellow, things start to get a little weird for Cubone in the Pokédex. Its description changes to: “Wears the skull of its deceased mother. Its cries echo inside the skull and come out as a sad melody”.

More of Cubone’s Pokédex descriptions as you move along the generations go a little something like this:

It lost its mother after its birth. It wears its mother’s skull, never revealing its true face.

If it is sad or lonely, the skull it wears shakes, and emits a plaintive and mournful sound.

It wears the skull of its dead mother on its head. When it becomes lonesome, it is said to cry loudly.

Cubone pines for the mother it will never see again. Seeing a likeness of its mother in the full moon, it cries. The stains on the skull the Pokémon wears are made by the tears it sheds.

You also learn in Pokémon Red and Blue that Team Rocket are the ones who killed Cubone’s mother. Which is disturbing in the fact that sure, Pokémon faint all the time, but they can be revived for free in any town. So just how did Team Rocket manage to actually kill off a Pokémon? 

Just makes me want to cuddle Cubone even more. 

Many more urban legends exist about Pokémon and their world, and not all of them are depressing. Some are silly, some are just things that used to go around when we were kids – like how you could catch Mew under a truck, or that Magikarp’s splash attack actually had a 0.001% chance of making a deadly hit!

The world of Pokémon is so vast, and not only in that fantasy world. It has grown in our minds as well, much more than we can imagine. And that, my friends, is why Pokémon are loved so dearly, and they will live on for a very, very long time. 

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Charly Mottet
Avid console gamer and spirited writer.