ByMatthew Bailey, writer at
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

Pokémon has been a staple for the last few generations of gamers, myself included. I grew up with the original collection of games: Red and Blue followed quickly by Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, Soul Silver, Black, White, Black 2, White 2 and finally X & Y. Through every additional game I was never disappointed by spending my money on these Pokémon games. I even went so far as to find the emulated versions of these games along with the unofficial roms and played them on my cell phone (I still have a couple installed).

With the news that the newest addition to the collection of games, Sun & Moon, would pass over the traditional gym system, there was a lot of conflicted response. Some fans of the series love the inclusion of a new system of trials to be completed before facing the "Kahuna" who is the most powerful trainer on each island.

Whereas other fans like the tradition that has been established through all the previous games and think it's one of the most important facets of the Pokémon game. Regardless of where you fall in the discussion of the gyms importance, we can all probably agree that we love Pokémon and are excited to see what Sun and Moon hold for us, but until then let's take a look at some facts you missed in your many years of playing.

7. Team Rocket Leads Most Gyms In Kanto

The Pokémon anime is fairly popular, but many fans trust the manga series, Pokémon Adventures, to be the more definitive adaptation. This series carries more adult tones and tries to bring in a connection to the series as a whole as a singular mythology rather than a fractured story. The gyms in the Kanto region are led by characters like Lt. Surge, Giovanni, Sabrina, Koga and Blaine. In Pokémon Adventures, these gym leaders are actually high ranking Team Rocket members, whose exploits are numerous, including:

  • Koga used reanimated Pokemon corpses to scare Red and Blue in the tower in Lavender Town.
  • Sabrina used her psychic powers to torture Green in the Silph Co. building.
  • Lt. Surge tried to kill Red after he discovered that the S.S. Anne was being used to illegally transport Pokémon.
  • Giovanni is the mastermind and leader of them all.
  • Blaine was the original creator of Mewtwo but defected once he learned that a single trainer was defeating Team Rocket.

6. You Can Fish Inside The Gym Statues In Pokémon Red & Blue

It would be an understatement to say that Pokémon are some of the more glitched out games Nintendo has developed. Which is odd considering how conscientious Nintendo is about the quality of their games. The massive popularity of the series led countless fans to look through every line of code, every nook and cranny in order to find the secrets within.

Once the code was examined there were dozens of glitches discovered: Missingno, item duplication and many other things including one glitch that happens in every gym (except for Cinnabar Island and Saffron City) where you can approach the statues near the entrance and pull out your fishing rod. Because of this glitch it's possible to actually fish inside the gym in the statue itself.

5. There Has Never Been A Dark Attribute Gym

Up to this point there have been 58 different Gym leaders throughout the main series of games, and almost every type of Pokémon has been covered by a leader.

Even the double battle concept was covered in the Hoenn region thanks to Liza & Tate, through it all we have not seen a single Dark type Gym even though there have been Elite trainers who focused on the Dark type Pokemon. Here's the Gym leader breakdown:

  • Fire: (3) Blaine, Flannery, Chili*
  • Ghost: (2) Morty, Fatina
  • Water: (5) Misty, Wallace, Crasher Wake, Cress*, Marlon, Juan
  • Flying: (3) Falknier, Winona, Skyla
  • Ground: (2) Giovanni, Clay
  • Psychic: (4) Sabrina, Liza & Tate, Olympia
  • Fighting: (4) Chuck, Brawly, Maylene, Korrina
  • Steel: (2) Jasmine, Byron
  • Ice: (4) Pryce, Candice, Brycen, Wulfric
  • Dragon: (3) Clair, Drayden, Iris
  • Bug: (3) Bugsy, Burgh, Viola
  • Grass: (4) Erika, Gardenia, Cilan*, Ramos
  • Poison: (3) Koga, Janine, Roxie
  • Fairy: (1) Valeria
  • Electric: (5) Surge, Wattson, Volkner, Elesa, Clemont
  • Rock: (4) Brock, Roxanne, Roark, Grant
  • Normal: (4) Whitney, Norman, Lenora, Cheren
  • Various: (1) Blue

4. The Celadon City Gym Was Censored

Now, there are dozen of games that have been banned or censored over the years in certain areas of the world because of cultural differences, but usually Nintendo isn't on the list of culprits. Pokémon was and still is one game series that has faced a lot of controversy over the years but always made it through.

Pokemon has faced allegations of racism (Jynx's color change from black to purple), animal cruelty (the fact that players force tiny animals into cramped Pokeballs and force them into cockfighting) yet one of the controversies revolved around a singular gym in Celadon City.

The gym in Celadon City is full of female trainers, and in the original games there was a creepy man peering in through a window who if you talked to him would say that he liked the gym because of all the pretty girls. A comment which we can imagine was written a bit tounge-in-cheek but would give anyone the vibe of him being a dirty old man. But as time went on his words were changed to the gym being "full of strong trainers."

3. Brock Is A Cheater

In terms of name recognition, there are two Gym leaders that lead the pack: Misty and Brock. Their fame can be attributed to their inclusion on the original anime show during its height of popularity. Misty and Brock are nearly as pivotal as Ash or Pikachu to the original series, and they are the first pair of gym leaders you encounter in Pokémon Red & Blue.

The sad truth is that Brock uses an illegal Pokémon during your first gym encounter! In the gym battle with Brock, he uses a level 14 (level 12 in Pokémon Yellow) Onix with the move Bind, yet Onix does not learn Bind until Level 15.

2. Lt. Surge Is American

Early on in the franchise the world that Pokemon existed, Kanto, hadn't really been defined yet. Because of that lack of clear definition, there were several references to the actual world we know such as Mew being discovered in South America among several other references including the fact that Vermillion City's gym leader is from America.

In Pokémon Red & Blue as well as the remakes Fire Red & Leaf Green Lt. Surge is described as the "Lightning American" and fought in an unknown war in the past.

1. The Lake of Rage Was Almost A Pokémon Gym

The second generation of games in the Pokémon franchise were littered with glitches and development issues. After the original games were a massive success, the team at Game Freak were pushed to finish the sequel quickly. The team was forced to build Pokémon Gold & Silver on the bug-filled code of the original games while relying on the outdated Game Boy hardware.

In Gold & Silver, the Safari Zone was set to return, but was abandoned because of time constraints. And then one of the more heavily cut areas of the game was the Lake of Rage (where the Red Gyarados lived). Maps discovered in the games coding show that the Lake was set to be a full city with a gym likely led by Pryce, Jasmine or possibly Chuck if Game Freak was going to keep the original lineup of leaders.

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What do you think, are you ready for the Pokémon Sun & Moon changes to the original gym style?


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