Bulbasaur Isn’t Neccesarily The First Pokémon

Bulbasaur Isn’t Neccesarily The First Pokémon
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Trivia time! Which Pokémon came first? The answer may not be what you think.

According to the Pokedex, the answer seems clear-cut: Bulbasaur, the cabbage-like Pokémon, is number one. So it’s gotta be the Pokemon that comes first, right? No, actually. The “first Pokémon” varies depending on how you look at it, and what criteria you use to determine the first Pokémon. Pokedex-wise, yes, Bulbasaur is the first Pokemon; it comes before all others. But that’s just an arbitrary number, isn’t it?

As Pokémon veterans know, lore-wise, the answer is a bit different. Looking at Pokedex entries, “the first Pokémon could be two different Pokémon. Arceus, for example, is pretty much Pokémon‘s version of God. Known as “The Original One”, Arceus is said to have created the Pokémon universe. Here’s Bulbapedia on Arceus’ Pokedex entries:

So the first Pokémonis this menacing-looking thing, right??

Nope. That’s because Pokémon lore isn’t exactly consistent. That’s probably why, according to Pokémon lore, the legendary Mew could be also be considered to be the “first” Pokémon — it’s the ancestor of all Pokémon, and its DNA contains the genetic code of all Pokémon. Here are some of Mew’s Pokedex entries, for proof — scientists in Pokémon seem to believe Mew came first, before all other Pokémon:

This would make for a pretty good first Pokémon, right? Well…

If we go outside of the games themselves, the answer is radically different. There, Mew isn’t the first Pokémon, but rather the last one. In real life, the first Pokemon is not what appears in the Pokedex first, or what legendary Pokémon is said to have created everything. In fact, the first Pokémon ever designed in real life — the first monster written into the code of the original games — is surprisingly ordinary. It’s Rhydon. Edit: whoops! Got RhyHORN and RhyDON confused.

So really, the Pokémon that “came first” depends on who you ask. There’s no wrong choice. It’s just not a given that it’s Bulbasaur, either.


  • Saying Bulbasaur is the first Pokemon is like saying the first person in an election roll or census data is the first human.

    • The trivia question that is normally asked is what is the first pokemon in the pokedex. We actually had that asked last week at trivia. In some places this could be shortened to “What is the first pokemon” which is where this article comes from.

  • I thought the prevailing theory is that Arceus isn’t actually a Pokemon. Arceus created Mew, the first Pokemon. Mew created Groudon and Kyogre. Their battle of magma and water created whatever the equivalent of Earth is. Then Mew made everything else. Pokemon, humans, legendaries, what have you. The humans and Pokemon cross-bred for a while before separating as two distinct species.^

    ^Canalave library explicitly states that humans and Pokemon cross-bred for a while. Eww.

  • I’d argue the first Pokémon would be the first one fully designed, not necessarily the first one entered into the game.

    And wouldn’t this first Pokémon theory change pretty much every new game?

  • Missingno, since it mutated beyond understanding and time. Trying to comprehend it will destroy your trainer’s reality.

  • Man, I stopped playing Pokemon after second generation and I wasn’t aware about Arceus and his God-like quality. It makes even more disturbing the fact that humans enslave pokemon and that apparently God himself can be captured and used to fight pedestrian battles.

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