What was the first pokemon ever made? When you think of Pokémon, there are a few names that likely come to mind. Pikachu, Charizard, Bulbasaur, and Mewtwo are just a handful of names that define the first Generation of the series and still remain propped up in the franchise to this day.
But there are so many additions in the Pokédex now that it can be easy to forget which Pokémon came first.
As of now, there are 923 entries in the total Pokédex. Scarlet and Violet are just around the corner and will almost certainly bring that total to over 1,000. There’s never been a better time to look back at the beginnings of the Pokédex, but the answer to the first Pokémon is more complicated than you might think.
Whether it’s through lore, development, or the Pokédex itself, we’ll go over which Pokémon is truly the first in the Legendary Nintendo franchise.
Can the Pokédex answer the question of the original?
While the Pokédex might be on its way to 1,000 entries, that doesn’t mean we can’t look back toward the original additions. The Kanto region is the first area that was ever released and was the set location of both Pokémon Red and Blue. Yellow and Green versions were also released and contained the same original Kanto Region along with the original Pokédex.
Every fan of the series remembers that the first game had 151 entries with many names that are cemented classics. But there aren’t many names that can beat the popularity of the first nine entries, aside from a select few like Snorlax or Pikachu. Of those nine though, which Kanto starter is the first ever?
Though Charmander is clearly one of the most popular starters of all time, it’s Bulbasaur that takes the spot as the first Pokédex entry ever. With the 001 spot, the Grass-type and its subsequent evolutions could technically be called the first Pokémon based on how Game Freak listed them in their games. Even now, they are still listed as the first.
However, being the first in the Pokédex may not necessarily equate to being the first in lore or development. The concepts that Game Freak originally tackled can change the way we look at the first pocket monsters
Game Freak Creates Their First Pokémon Concept
Game Freak was working on the first games in the 90s, and with a clean slate ahead of them, they were able to conceptualize some incredibly simple and unique designs for their Pokémon.
It’s no coincidence that so many of the Kanto entries have basic names with easy-to-recognize features. They needed to create an enticing lineup of pocket monsters to capture the world within Kanto.
There had to be a starting point though, and sure enough, we know exactly what Game Freak created first. Ken Sugimori, one of the original character designers for the Pokémon franchise, confirmed what the first design truly was. Rhydon is where everything began, despite being entry #112 in the Pokédex, and it even set the tone for the game overall.
Most of the Kanto Region designs were originally supposed to be modeled after dinosaurs. This includes Lapras and Clefairy who were both early concepts as well and were meant to follow the same trend as Rhydon. So in a way, Rhydon is technically the first Pokémon ever when you look at it from a development standpoint and that fact also bleeds into the first game.
Many of the representations of Pokémon, like badges or statues, were simply symbols modeled after Rhydon. This seemingly impactless dinosaur can be found all over the game files and now we know why. But that doesn’t tell us who the first Pokémon is in terms of lore.
Legendaries and Mythicals appear before anything else
Kanto can tell us a lot about where Pokémon began as a franchise, and we can learn a lot from the early days of development. However, story and lore have continued to change for over two decades leading to hundreds of new entries in the Pokédex. With nine generations in total, there are all kinds of powerful Pokémon that could be contenders for the first-ever, but only a couple stand above the rest.
Before Generation IV was released, Mew was widely considered to be the first Pokémon. The Kanto Mythical was mysterious and contained tons of power. There’s a reason Mewtwo was created to attempt a recreation of the iconic Mythical.
Aside from the mysterious nature of Mew, there was plenty of lore that leaned towards the final entry in Kanto being the oldest. Mew was supposedly around before any of the other Pokémon in the franchise, and to a degree, that’s still true to this day. In some of the anime and on Trading Cards, the Mythical is also depicted in ancient carvings that seem to cement it as something close to a deity.
Fans of the series may be aware of some of the other deities depicted in this universe, and there is one that came before as the lore for the franchise continued to expand.
The Pokémon God set the stage for all life
Once Generation IV dropped, everything about the lore in Pokémon would change forever. The powerful Creation Trio of Legendaries was added and so was Arceus. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina were brought to the Universe at the Temple of Sinnoh and it’s clear that these Pokémon had a hand in shaping the region. Along with the Lake Guardians, they were able to run Sinnoh and surrounding areas just like previous trios in their regions.
One key component changed though, and that’s Arceus itself. To this day, Arceus is considered “The Original One” or the Alpha Pokémon. In short, the Generation IV Mythical is the Pokémon God and is likely responsible for the creation of the universe. How a young trainer is able to catch god is entirely up for debate, but according to lore, Arceus had to have created Mew as well.
Even as the next Generation approaches, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Arceus to be knocked out of the original deity slot. The only way that would change is through the Ultra Beasts plotline in which wormholes bring crazy-looking Pokémon from an entirely different dimension or timeline.
With time, it could be revealed that the Ultra Beasts came first. Some fans already believe that Arceus could be an Ultra Beast as well, but that’s entirely a theory.
Is there truly a first Pokémon?
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve seen that there are multiple answers to the question and just as many perspectives to match them. As Game Freak continues to release new games for the franchise, it seems possible that the answer can continue to evolve depending on the route of the story. Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the last substantial entry in the franchise, was another good indication that Arceus is the first Pokémon, but time will tell.
Out of every answer, it seems like Rhydon is a good choice to latch onto. Not only was it the first-ever concept for a Pokémon, but it was clearly a way to stage so much of the original games. Even if the lore doesn’t support Rhydon being the first, it’s clear that Game Freak started there.
Or you could just base it off the Pokédex and call it a day with Bulbasaur. Regardless, you have choices.
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