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The Untold Truth Of Pokemon's MissingNo.

Long before the era of walkthroughs, guides, and data mining, fans were left to take whatever they heard at the playground about a specific video game as the truth. One of these infamous rumors revolved around a mysterious Pokémon known as MissingNo., a secret Pokémon that could not be encountered by normal means.


According to the rumor, MissingNo. (short for Missing Number) was a cut Pokémon that could only be found after performing a series of glitches in Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. These glitches screwed with the game's code in a way that allowed a player to encounter a nightmarish glob of screwed up pixels on a specific tile by Cinnabar Island. It sounds fake, but it actually works, and it can cause some game-breaking glitches too.

After blowing the minds of 90s kids across the world, MissingNo. became a sought-after Pokémon. It was just so bizarre-looking and required so much glitching that it was truly considered a trophy of sorts. Using MissingNo. in battle meant you were one of the coolest kids on the playground, especially if you managed to capture one of its unique forms.


MissingNo would change forms depending on the game you played and your name

If you're playing Pokémon Red or Blue and encounter and capture MissingNo., the Pokémon's type in the menu will come up as Bird and Normal. However if you're playing Pokémon Yellow, MissingNo's typing will be Normal and a random type that has "9" in it.


But that's not even the half of it. In Red and Blue MissingNo.'s "normal" form was a weird backward-L shaped box full of glitched pixels. This form was exclusive to these games, and can't be found in Yellow. But Yellow had its own unique form that was equally bizarre looking. Sporting an orange, red, and yellow assortment of messed up pixels, this version of MissingNo actually uses the same palette of the game's Pikachu. 

Additionally there is also a Fossil and Ghost form of MissingNo. that is determined by what letter you have in the third, fifth, or seventh slot of your file name. Depending on the letter you could get the Kabutops Fossil, the Aerodactyl Fossil form, or the ghost sprite found in Pokémon Tower, all of which can be found in Red, Blue, and Yellow.


Despite being a glitch MissingNo did get "official" artwork

For several years, Nintendo, Game Freak, and the Pokémon Company never really acknowledged MissingNo despite its popularity among fans. There were zero official depictions of this glitched Pokémon outside of fan art, so most of the community didn't really expect anyone from the Pokémon franchise to really pay MissingNo any mind.


But a few years ago, Pokémon Trading Card Game artist TOKIYA posted drawings of MissingNo in its Ghost, Aerodactyl, Kabutops, and default forms on his Twitter account. The drawings were extremely detailed and really brought these glitched Pokémon to life.

Sadly, the tweet containing the art was taken down, but thankfully it's been archived. Maybe one day Game Freak or the Pokémon Company will make a reference to MissingNo in a future game, or perhaps take TOKIYA's artwork and turn it into an actual trading card.