In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
Ghost Pokémon Summary
Of all Pokémon types introduced in the original games, Ghost was the eeriest and mysterious. With only three Pokémon belonging to the type (all of the same evolutionary line), it was a rare and oddly dark element for the generally-happy world of Pokémon. Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower even introduced crazed channelers demanding blood and gravestones where grieving trainers weep, but more on that horrific location soon.
Since then, Ghost has developed into a full-fledged type, albeit still a relatively rare one, brandishing several competitive advantages. With frightening natures and plenty of creepy theories, Ghost remains arguably the most fascinating Pokémon type. So bring your silver crosses and salt as we explore ten amazing facts about Ghost Pokémon! A forewarning: we're tackling some dark material here.
10. Ghost Is the Only Type With Two Immunities
Poké-fanatics likely already knew this one. Ghost is a strong defensive element, bearing only two weaknesses but offering two resistances and having the distinction of being completely immune to both Normal and Fighting! No other type entirely negates two other elements, and since one of Ghost's weaknesses is Ghost itself, few Pokémon can find chinks in your Ghost's corporeal armor without exposing themselves as well.
That said, the Foresight move will remove a Ghost Pokémon's immunities, but this tactic takes up a whole turn (not to mention move slot), giving you plenty of time for your spirit to counterattack. Just watch out for the Scrappy ability, which accomplishes the same effect without needing to spend a turn.
9. Generation 2 Only Introduced One Ghost Pokémon
The Gold and Silver games of generation 2 introduced the Dark and Steel types, wisely designed to balance Ghost and Psychic Pokémon. Yet despite putting a Ghost check into play, Johto only introduced a single Ghost Pokémon: Misdreavus, the first pure Ghost creature.
Wow, Ghosts really were rare back then, huh? With 251 total monsters, there were literally two evolutionary families consisting of a whopping four Pokémon. At least now they were properly balanced now.
8. Team Rocket Killed a Marowak, Inspiring Its Fire/Ghost Alolan Form
At the top of the Pokémon Tower, players must defeat a Marowak spirit, outright stated to have been killed by Team Rocket. Heck, we even witness its death in the Pokémon Origins anime, oddly seeing its Cubone offspring wearing a skull even prior to its death. Plot holes aside, 20 years after this dark moment originated, we were introduced to Alolan Marowak in generation 7, who forgoes Ground for a Fire/Ghost blend based on the deceased Marowak's story.
Alolan Marowak is also currently the only dual-type Pokémon who doesn't share a single type with its prior evolution, yet another oddity hinting towards its ominous origins. As if this tale weren't tragic enough, did you know Cubone's original name was planned to be Orphon, based on the word orphan? Yikes.
7. Gengar Lost Its Levitate Ability
The original family of Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar were Ghost/Poison blends. Now, Ghost isn't weak to Ground, but Poison is, making Ground one of the few elements that could hit Gengar's clan for double pain. Luckily, in generation 3, they gained the Levitate ability, rendering them immune to Ground and negating their weakness.
However, starting with generation 5, Gengar lost access to its Levitate option, with GameFreak reasoning that (unlike its prior forms) Gengar stands on two feet on the ground. Gengar can now learn the Cursed Body ability, which by no means bad, can't quite compare to its weakness-negating ability, one of the best in the game.
6. Psychic Was Originally Immune to Ghost
Many in-game sources of Red and Blue as well as the original anime made note that Psychic's only weakness was to Ghost Pokémon. However, due to what appears to be a programming bug, Ghost attacks actually didn't impact Psychic at all! Combined with the fact that all Ghost Pokemon at the time (Gengar's family) were also part Poison, which is weak to Psychic, Ghost was actually the worst type to confront Psychic with.
Luckily, matters were changed in generation 2, finally letting Ghost strike Psychic for double pain. Interestingly, Psychic's weaknesses seem to be based on people's common fears: Bug, Ghost, and Dark. Terror messes with mental concentration, after all.
5. Ghost-Specialist Agatha Has Mysteriously Disappeared
Many veterans will remember the Ghost-user Agatha, a third member of the original Elite Four. Agatha has an interesting backstory, sharing a rivalry with Professor Oak back in their youth but eventually parting ways due to philosophical differences. There's some great backstory potential there (some fan-made prequel games even choose Agatha and Oak as the playable protagonists), but right now we're most interested in Agatha's future: she mysteriously vanishes from the Elite Four in generation 2/4, making room for Koga to join the team.
Agatha's odd absence is never explained or mentioned, but she's certainly getting on her years—did she simply pass away during the three-year gap between generation 1 and 2? Considering the deathly nature of her preferred element, this dark fate seems all too fitting.
Stories go that it grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife.
It's a stuffed toy that was thrown away and became possessed, ever searching for the one who threw it away so it can exact its revenge.
Its tongue is made of gas. If licked, its victim starts shaking constantly until death eventually comes.
4. Ghost Pokémon Kidnap and Stalk Children
Pokédex entries often contain the game's darkest lore, chronicling how Pokémon often hunt and kill each other. If that wasn't bad enough, it also details how several Ghost types prey on human children. Consider the Ghost/Flying Drifloon's numerous description of tricking kids with its balloon-like appearance, then carrying them to the afterlife, or Banette's stalking of the child who threw it away.
And don't even get me started on Haunter, who can apparently curse you to a slow, agonizing, and inevitable death.
3. All Ghost Moves Have 100% Accuracy
Pokémon attacks come in many shapes and forms, and often the strongest moves are balanced by having lower accuracy values. However, as of this writing in generation 7, each and every Ghost move has 100% accuracy. Barring accuracy/evasion changes or other abnormal field states, your Ghost moves will hit without fail. I guess there's no hiding from the spirits of the afterlife.
Ghost moves include several damaging attacks like Shadow Ball, Shadow Punch, and Hex, but they also bear a variety of tricky status effects like Nightmare (used on sleeping foes), Curse (which cuts your HP but saps some of the opponent's each turn), and Destiny Bond (which makes the opponent faint if you do).
2. Ghost Pokémon Can Always Retreat
As if Ghosts weren't already durable enough with their twin immunities and resistances, as of generation 6, they're also immune to effects that would prevent them from retreating, like Mean Look or Shadow Escape. Additionally, a Ghost can always successfully flee an encounter with a wild Pokémon, regardless of its Speed stat. Makes sense, I suppose; how are you going to contain a spiritual bundle of matter?
Even their TCG (trading card game) forms tend to have exceptionally low energy retreat costs. Speaking of the TCG, it excludes several elements, meaning Ghost Pokémon tend to get lumped in as Psychic types.
1. A Giant Haunter Called Black Fog Killed Itself in the Manga
Most of the various Pokémon mangas are much darker than the games and anime. For instance, in the "Haunting My Dreams" issue of The Electric Tale of Pikachu, a giant Haunter called Black Fog terrorizes Saffron City and Sabrina, ruthlessly murdering both humans and Pokémon alike by eating their souls. Ash, Brock, and Sabrina ultimately manage to corner Black Gog, but rather than be captured by humans, the giant spirit uses Self-Destruct to commit suicide.
In the anime, we can see Giant Haunters loosely based on Black Fog in both "The Old Chateau" of the Generations anime and "Fear Factor Phony" of the Battle Frontier series.
Future of Ghost Pokémon
Despite having been with us since the beginning, Ghost is currently the second-rarest type (after Ice), so fans are always excited to see new paranormal Pokémon. With high-accuracy attacks, strong defenses, and chilling backstories, Ghosts remain some of my favorite Pokémon, and I'm excited to learn more about them in future generations.
But for now, as we continue to ponder what exactly is going on with X and Y's human ghost ("no, you're not the one"), vote for your favorite creature and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: What is your favourite ghost Pokémon?
Answer: It was Haunter for many years, but I really like the dark implications surrounding Alolan Marowak.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill