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The Professor Oak Theory That Changes Everything About The Original Games

"Pokémon" fans know that while Game Freak takes steps to innovate each generation of the series, there are certain things that always remain the same. Nearly every mainline title in the franchise begins with a new trainer heading over to the local professor's lab where they will get to choose their very first Pokémon. With the exceptions of "Yellow" version and the "Let's Go" games, there are always three options to choose from: a fire-type, a water-type and a grass-type. In the original games, the player would have first pick of their starter Pokémon, then their rival would choose whichever Pokémon would have a type advantage over the one chosen by the player. After this, the third Pokémon would simply remain in its pokéball on the table for the rest of the game. It turns out that this may not have always been the developers' intention, however.


A recent fan theory posted by the YouTube channel PokeTips suggests that this third Pokémon was originally intended to make a very important appearance later on in "Red" and "Blue" version when the player would be challenged to a final battle by none other than Professor Oak. In the video, PokeTips explains that there are three different versions of a battle with Oak coded into "Red," "Blue" and "Yellow" versions of the game, although players would never come across any of them while playing normally.

There is a glitch to fight Oak in the game

The only way to battle the original Pokémon professor is to enact a glitch. Old school "Pokémon" players are no strangers to manipulating glitches. Many of them have taken advantage of the Missingno Glitch in order to replicate items, or the Trainer Escape Glitch in order to catch Mew. This one requires even more precise steps to achieve which is probably why it went undiscovered for so long.


According to PokeTips, players will need a Pokémon with a Special stat of 226, one that knows the move Fly and one that knows Growl in order to activate the glitch. They should start by going to a trainer that will have to walk forward to challenge them to a Pokémon battle. As soon as the trainer spots them, the player needs to hit the start button and then use their Pokémon to fly away. Next, approach another trainer that will walk forward to initiate a battle and simply beat them. Step three is to find a Ditto to battle. These are located on Route 15 in "Pokémon Red" and "Blue" and are in the Pokémon mansion on Cinnabar Island in "Yellow." Make sure the Ditto transforms into the Pokémon with the 226 Special stat, then use Growl on it 4-6 times. After that, players should run away and return to the location of the trainer they flew away from. The menu will suddenly pop open as they approach and exiting the menu will begin the fight with Oak.


Battling Oak

PokeTips states that four out of Professor Oak's five Pokémon remain the same in all three versions of the fight. He will have a level 66 Tauros, a level 67 Exeggutor, a Level 68 Arcanine, and a Level 70 Gyarados. His fifth Pokémon will be a level 69 version of the final evolution of one of the three starters. Which one he will use against the player in a given fight will be the result of how many times they used Growl while battling the Ditto. Four times gives Oak a Blastoise, five times gives him a Venusaur and six times gives him Charizard. This can be an incredibly difficult battle for those who are not ready for it as the individual levels of each of Oak's Pokémon are higher than those possessed by any other trainer in the game. Even the last trainer that the player faces in the campaign, their rival, doesn't have a single Pokémon that goes over level 65.


Given the professor's strength, PokeTips has pieced together a theory that Oak was originally supposed to be the Champion that the player would have to face after defeating the Elite Four and that his starter Pokémon would have been determined by whichever of the three was left behind after the player and their rival chose the first two.

The theory

PokeTips supports this argument in a number of ways. First of all, four out of the five members of his team are identical to those that ended up being in the rival's team. He also argues that it's odd that the player fights their rival right before entering Victory Road and right after battling the Elite Four since the two fights were so close together. It arguably would have made more sense for the Victory Road fight to be the last one with the rival and for Oak to be the final boss. He also points out that Oak stated at the beginning of the game that he was once a serious trainer before settling down to become a Pokémon professor, so perhaps it's not so far-fetched to believe he could have been the reigning champion.


There is also other evidence that supports this theory. Agatha of the Elite Four states that Oak "was once tough and handsome" but that he no longer wants to battle, implying that she knew him to have once been a powerful trainer. Lance and Oak also make a joke about Oak being the Champion in "Let's Go Pikachu" and "Eevee," although it is immediately dismissed.

No one from Game Freak has confirmed or denied this theory, but it seems to make sense and it's nice to think that third Pokémon had a trainer rather than being left in that pokéball forever.