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The Heart and Soul of Pokemon History

It was impossible to imagine that they would go on to explode in popularity,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during a recent installment of Nintendo’s ‘Iwata Asks’ Q&A sessions. Chatting alongside Game Freak director Shigeki Morimoto and the president of The Pokemon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, Iwata described Pokemon’s gestation – a lengthy six years.

“We wanted to release the games quickly. But we missed the end of year sales season and finally released them at the end of February – the very worst time of year!” explained Ishihara. True enough, sales of Pokemon were sluggish. However, slowly but surely, its popularity began to gather pace. “Word steadily spread about how much fun Pokemon was… There was also the small matter of Mew, the Pokemon that Morimoto-san contrived as a kind of prank,” said Ishihara.

Mew was hurriedly inserted at the last minute – a potentially game-breaking addition after the game had been bug tested. “What we did would be unthinkable nowadays!” exclaimed Morimoto. Mew wasn’t supposed to appear in the game, and was instead intended to be activated at a later date, but due to an unforeseen bug, the mystery ’Mon showed up in some players’ copies of the games.

Word of this ‘legendary’ Pokemon spread through playgrounds like wildfire, causing such a buzz that, when CoroCoro Comics announced that 20 lucky players could get Mew unlocked through a competition, 78,000 entries poured in. Pokemon was not only on its way to becoming the phenomenon we know today, but it also helped extend the Game Boy’s shelf-life beyond Nintendo’s expectations.

After the launch of Red, Green, Blue and Yellow, Ishihara felt that Gold and Silver would be the ultimate (and last) in the Pokemon series, banking on the huge level of merchandising, TV series, movies and trading card games to ensure their success when they eventually launched.

Topics

Pokemon

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9 comments

  • darkdispatch523 - May 1, 2010 11:06 a.m.

    For the TRUTH go to:: http://www.sovereigntimes.com/
  • OnyxOblivion - April 30, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    I love this series, and am sad to say it...But the originals are the worst of the series. That stupid item limit, the horrid box system. Not that G/S's box system was much better...A mere 151 pokemon...A shitty Metagame. No Battle Tower...no refighting any trainers but the Elite Four.
  • Apollomon - April 30, 2010 3:09 a.m.

    @whiteknight1981 i havnt got soul or heart yet, but want to...the newer versions have new AI opponenets, new pokemon and sometimes new features i.e. the original gold/silver introduced gender and night and day and is the only game that had 16 gyms; when re-released they added stuff from newer generations such as natures (affecting stats), abilities for each pokemon and the battle frontier...also you could not trade to the DS from the old versions of gold and silver Heart and Soul also have the pokewalker which allows you to train your pokemon by walking- so if you spend a lot of time walking in day it useful thing to have...i didnt buy fire red or leaf green (updates of the originals) but may do soon cause they cheap now...but i have enjoyed playing through the actual new games each time...still need to finish crystal, emerald and platinum though lol i got a DS on release day and never regretted, however i looking into getting a second hand original psp now for some cool games like yugioh tag force series, soul caliber and dissidia
  • whiteknight1981 - April 30, 2010 2:44 a.m.

    I don't see much difference between the various versions besides more pokemon with each generation. What kind of new things/different gameplay elements that are made? And why is Heart and Soul better than any other? REALLY not trying to be snobby, just curious! Captcha: Economy capsules. That like cheap pokeballs?
  • GameManiac - April 30, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    I am so glad that I chose to buy a Nintendo DS instead of a Sony PSP for this. Nintendo has by far the most enjoyment and memorabilia than either Sony or Microsoft. Why else are people talking more about Mario, Metroid, Zelda, and Pokemon? I don't hear as much coming from people who prefer Sony or Microsoft (except when Halo is involved).
  • Cyberninja - April 29, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    i feel bad for you needleskane they both have strenghs and weaknees so i have both only because i want birth by sleep and it was worth it for the psp but the ds is what i use more because pokemon is so fun
  • NeedlesKane - April 29, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    i feel bad for not getting a ds but in my younger years my first 2 consoles wer ps1 and ps2, and my first handhelds were a game boy color and a gamboy advanced sp. i got all the pokemon games up to emerald then when psp and ds came out i had to chose and i went with playstion. i think it was the right decision for me. reCAPTCHA: about donutting. lol
  • slimjim441 - April 29, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    Agreed. Heart and Soul are the best pokemon games ever, beating the old Gold and Silver (and Crystal) games. But as far as I'm concerned, there are only 251 pokemon and I have them all. The rest are vermin. Sorry, but it's true.
  • loonyman978 - April 29, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    Heartgold and Soulsilver are by far the best in the series - 336 poke's so far!

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