Chill Clinton is a trading card enthusiast and investor who operates an online trading card store.
Pokémon is a media franchise that has captivated the imaginations of an entire generation for decades. While most regard the adventures of trainers like Ash, Red, and the friends they meet along their journeys as uplifting stories of good triumphing over evil, some fans have developed disturbing theories about the "Wonderful World of Pokémon."
So light up your Chandelure, grab a warm glass of Moomoo Milk, and settle in for these three disturbing Pokémon fan theories.
1. Kangaskhan is Cubone's Dead Mother
Cubone, nicknamed "The Lonely Pokémon" in its Pokédex entry, is distinguished by the skull it wears on its head, and the long bone it carries around to use as a weapon to ward off other Pokémon. Those who remember learning about this Pokémon either through the television show or the videogame will know that the skull Cubone wears on its head is actually the skull of its mother, which it wears both to mourn her, and to hide its near constant stream of tears.
If you notice the similarities between the shape of the skull that Cubone wears and Kangaskhan's cranial shape, there is an uncanny resemblance between the two. But this isn't the extent of the evidence suggesting that Kangaskhan may have been designed to be Cubone's final evolutionary stage.
If you look at the original Red & Blue video games released by GameFreak, there is fairly definitive evidence suggesting the validity of this fan theory. In these games, if you surf around the east coast of Cinnabar Island, a Pokémon which resembles a pixelated Tetris shape appears. This Pokémon, called "Missingno" (Missing Number), can actually be caught as well, and if you level it up, it will eventually evolve into Kangaskhan.
The pervasive theory for why this glitch exists is that the original game was meant to include Kangaskhan as the evolved form of Marowak, which is the evolved form of Cubone. However, at some point, the designers or product owners decided that the link between Cubone and Kangaskhan would be too morbid for a children's franchise.
However, instead of changing the code, the designers simply created a new entry for Marowak that didn't evolve into Kangaskhan, and they buried the prior slot in a remote segment of the code!
2. Did the Lavender Town Theme Song Drive Japanese Children to Madness?
If you played the original Pokémon handheld video games, you will likely recall the very spooky Lavender Town, where you explore a seven-story tower filled with the gravestones of deceased Pokémon and their mourning former trainers.
When wandering around the tower, you are likely to run into one of many ghostly Pokémon like Gastly, Haunter, and the vengeful spirit of a dead Marowak. But these psychic Pokémon are not what make Lavender Town most terrifying for many players!
According to rumors spread by through the internet via creepypastas, when the original Pokémon Red & Green debuted in Japan in February of 1996, hundreds of children experienced acute illnesses, physical ailments, and were even driven to complete madness by the Lavender Town theme song. This phenomenon would be aptly named the "Lavender Town Syndrome."
The proposed cause of this legendary "syndrome" were the tones used to create the theme song, which included frequencies so high that only children could be affected by them. Though there is no evidence linking any specific tragic events to children and teens playing the Pokémon game, fans who believe this level contains some evil qualities suggest (without evidence) that GameFreak quietly recalled copies of the original release and revised the theme music to not contain these upper frequencies.
So while this story is almost certainly an urban legend meant to add a little extra fright to this infamously creepy Pokémon town, one can't deny that the Lavender Town theme song is unsettling to say the least!
3. Did a War Wipe Out Most of the Adults in the World of Pokémon?
Whether you play the game, watch the show, or play the trading card game, you can't help but notice that there are few adults within the world of Pokémon relative to the number of kids. And where there are adults, many are much older, like Professor Oak, Opal, and Blaine. But where are all of the middle-aged adults?
Many of the kids who appear in the original series, like Brock and Misty, and the countless kids who show up later in the franchise, like Marnie, Hop, Goh, May, and others, don't apparently have parents, or their parents are only vaguely mentioned. Ash explicitly has no present father, and Gary Oak, his nemesis, was raised by his grandfather, Professor Oak.
Some Pokémon fans have theorized that the disproportionate number of kids when compared to adults is a result of a devastating war that wiped out a portion of the adult population that would be most likely to fight in war.
Much of this reasoning is based on a statement Lt. Surge, the Vermilion City Gym Leader, made to Red in the original Pokémon game. When you battle Lt. Surge, he tells you that his affinity for electric-types is a consequence of being saved by electric Pokémon "during the war". But what war?
Is it possible that there was some major war that devastated the middle-aged adult population? It's an unnerving prospect to consider, but without any references to a war outside of this statement, the relationship to any past war and the eerie absence of adults in the world of Pokémon appears to be nothing more than a dismal fan theory.