Tales From the Glitch 2:

MissingNo Visitor Accounts - Part 1

My own MissingNo Pokemon TCG card!

Thanks so much to everyone who responded with their own accounts of MissingNo encounters! After doing my own research, I decided to check out the official www.pokemon.com to see what Nintendo "officially" had to say on the subject.

(Taken from FAQ of Pokemon Red/Blue)
I found MissingNO, Pokémon #000 and now my graphics are messed up. What can I do?
"When players capture MissingNO, their game can perform strangely, and the graphics will often become scrambled. The MissingNO Pokémon is most often found if the player incorrectly performs the Fight Safari Zone Pokémon trick. To fix the scrambled graphics, try releasing the MissingNO Pokémon. If the problem persists, the only solution at this time is to re-start the game (this means erasing your current game and starting a brand new one)... Using ["Fight Safari Zone Pokemon" trick] in other areas may cause the Missing No Quirk. If the directions are followed, it will work."

Hmm, so Nintendo's being awfully closed-mouthed on the subject. I can't say I'm surprised... they hardly want to be responsible for irate players losing their game data. But luckily for this article, many of you have tried this trick on your own and reported your findings. Here are excerpts from some of the most interesting letters I've received.

MissingNo has 2 different forms in different games...

From PKMNAll:

".whenever I find an 'M, its cry always sounds like Zapdos! .As for MissingNo, (probably stands for 'Missing Number') it has its own unique cry! The only Pokemon I had trouble beating was my Glitch Pokemon, Nidorina at LV170 when I found her (my friend's Glitch Pokemon is a Squirtle, I'm not sure what level, but well over 100!) However, since Nidorina's stats and moves were relatively weak, I was able to catch her. But when she was shown in Pokemon Stadium, she went back to LV100! I tried using her in an actual battle via link cable when she was at LV250, but she didn't fare too well against my opponent's strong LV100 Pokes. (probably because her stats and moves weren't good because she wasn't a 'raised' Pokemon) This one kid I battled totally creamed me with his LV250 Mewtwo!!!!! Can you believe that!!!??? That joker was lucky enough to have Mewtwo as his Glitch Pokemon!!!!! Well, I guess it proves that any Pokemon can be a Glitch. And, just like in yours, the only moves my 'M knows is Water Gun and Sky Attack. However, what's weird is that both my MissingNo and 'M look exactly the same!!!!(?) Both look like a bunch of screwed up graphics; MissingNo doesn't look like a ghost like in yours!!! The only difference is their crys. 'M is always at LV0 and the graphics around its name always change when I switch Pokemon. MissingNo is always at LV160, I think.( I know it's some number over 100)......strange.......but cool!!!!!"


".In my Pokemon Blue(which is lost) I did the duplication/Missingno./'M/L:100+ Pokemon code many times. doesn't Missingno. look the same as that ghost Marowak in Lavender town before using the Silph Scope?

".I caught Missingno. but prevented game deletion by having only 5 Pokemon in my party when I caught it. After experimenting, I would put it in an empty box in my PC and immediately release it. In one experiment I nicknamed Missingno. Prof. Oak and evolved it. It did evolve in to Kangaskan, but for the little symbol next to its name in the Pokemon menu it showed the icon of the last Pokemon I used against it when catching it (i.e.,Grass is the little flower). When I put the little cursor thing on it, it flashed from the original icon to the person icon (like you see when walking around).

".I didn't fight Blaine by going to his Gym. While doing the surfing part of the duplicating code, I'd either see a level 160 Mewtwo or Blaine (as a trainer of course) with 'M and 'M like Pokemon. I found them the same way you find a level 160 Magnemite and whatever your other level 160 Pokemon is.

".I usually put it first in my party and then switched Pokemon. Also, since it's level zero, it goes up a level no matter how many EXP. it gets. my game data was fine."

From Kyle {A.K.A. Spider-Man}:

".if u catch a MissingNo and have it on ur team when u play PKMN Stadium 1, when u have the MissingNo out in battle it will take form of a substitute doll like the one when u use the move substitute."

From Rita Buuk (Denise):

"Missingno. was supposedly created to help the programmers to program the other wild Pokemon. It was left in the game either by accident, lack of priority, or to see if anyone would find it. Missingno. (Missing Number) is #000 in the Pokedex. There is no #000 in the Pokedex, hence the name. Another version of Missingno. is 'M' which is usually found at level 0 and which I think is more interesting, and I know more about.

"'M' is sometimes called Mysterio or Missinglingo (don't ask, I have no clue why). The ones I have seen have either two Sky Attacks and one Water Gun, or two Water Guns and one Sky Attack. This makes it seem even more glitched, since it is impossible for regular Pokemon to have duplicated moves.

"If you decide to catch an 'M' I recommend saving the game first incase something gets messed up. You should only carry five Pokemon with you (instead of the usual six) because if it gets sent to Bill's PC the game will freeze whenever you try to withdraw a Pokemon (this happened to me, and I was MAD).

"After you catch 'M', it won't go away. It will still attack. Even though I haven't tried this, I've heard that if you catch 'M' again you will end up with a level 0 Ditto (If you want to try it, only bring four Pokemon with you so that Ditto doesn't go to the PC too). I've heard a code somewhere about being able to make this Ditto become whatever Pokemon you want, but I don't remember how it goes and I haven't tried it.

"Anyway, when you catch 'M', its image in your party will be an old man. If you go down to select it, the old man will flash into all the other icons for Pokemon in your party as if your game cannot make up its mind what it should do, which I assume is exactly what is happening. If you manage to win one experience point with 'M' or feed it a rare candy, it will grow to level 1 and evolve into a Kangaskhan. Actually it will be shown as a Kangaskhan and then evolve into Kangaskhan (side effects of the glitch most likely). This cheat made it a heck of a lot easier to get this elusive Pokemon in my game. I don't know if having this Kangaskhan can harm the game though. I released it immediately because I didn't want to give it any chance to.

"Even if you don't catch Missingno. or 'M', just seeing it can mess up small aspects of you game. Your Hall of Fame will be totally screwed up, and sometimes it will momentarily mess up the pictures of yourself and opponent Pokemon. Carrying them around in your party can slowly disrupt even more images. So if it is really important for you to get one of these scrambles, please handle with care and don't blame anyone but yourself for any consequences."

From Helen (and Dragonite!):

"Me and my Pokemon {Zapdos and Slowbro} are on a mission, we are heading to Cinnabar island to try and catch the glitch Pokemon M. I've heard lots of rumors about this Pokemon, like if you give it a rare candy it evolves into Kangaskhan, and that M and Missing number can use any TM or HM, also if you nickname it Mew and give it a rare candy, it will evolve into a Mew. I am attempting to capture a level 0 M, this should be interesting...

"We have arrived on Cinnabar, armed with a master ball and some rare candy. I am now on Slowbro's back and we are surfing along Cinnabar. A level 0 M has appeared! and like always, the game saves as he appears. On my game {Blue} M and Missing number look the same, a strange L shaped creature which gives the cry of ether a Zapdos, Dratini or a male Nidoran. I am throwing the master ball now, I now own M! Hey! M still used Water gun after I caught it! I am running from the battle and am now looking at my list of Pokemon.

M is there, it's picture is of a boy with brown hair.
M's stats are:
Type: Bird/ normal
HP: 10
And everything else is 5.
I am going to give M a rare candy now, it tried to evolve into Kangaskhan but I stopped it, I still wanna see if this Mew thing is true.

"My Zapdos just flew me to Lavender town and I am going to see the nickname changing man. The nickmane man just changed M's name to Mew and I am going to give it another rare candy.
Mew evolved into Kangaskhan!
Hey! It's just a normal Kangaskhan! I wanted Mew!"

From AJ-Con:

"..Missingno screwed my Hall of Fame up! .I saw Japanese letters, Pokémon I've NEVER owned, saw or used, Pokémon named James and Blue {my character's name and my rival's name!!!}, Pokémon named TM Trainer, Enemy, Poké,.,a., Trainerzzzzzzzzzz and Pokémon with a level OVER 100 as well as Pokémon who's element was "PokéManiac"! The music went from PokeCenter to Viridian City to something I've NEVER heard to the Safari Zone/Evolution music.

".I found out that not all Missingno are evil,game-wrecking weirdos!!!! Ones that look like a frontwards letter "L" are okay to seek AND capture!!!!"

From Tigerspirit:

".MissingNo was originally just a beta test Pokemon, but was never removed from the game, either because it was forgotten, or they just didn't have enough time to remove it. 'M was also a beta test Pokemon, but it's possibly just a fragment of MissingNo. Both have two types: Type 1/Normal, Type 2/Bird. I've heard that if you catch MissingNo and use it in battle, it will evolve into a Ditto. I've also heard that if you trade it from a Red, Blue, or Yellow game pack to another Red/Blue/Yellow game pack, it will evolve into one of the new Pokemon from Gold/Silver/Crystal.

".About a year ago, I did that code to get an infinite amount of items. During the process, I encountered MissingNo as I normally would. It looked very much like your sketch of the "glitch" Pokemon, kind of like a Haunter. MissingNo was around Level 180 (I think it was 187), but my Persian easily KOed it with a simple Thunder attack. That done, I didn't even think twice about MissingNo and left it in peace for a while.

"But, just a few days ago, I became unusually curious about MissingNo and 'M, so I fired up my dormant Pokemon Blue game pack, which was the same one I used to do that code. I carried out the code as usual, but this time I encountered 'M, which I had never seen before. I easily defeated the pixelly blob and continued on my merry way. Finally, I found MissingNo, and, to my surprise, it had actually CHANGED! Now, MissingNo looked identical to 'M, and was only Level 146.

".My Hall of Fame is totally messed up. all of the Pokemon names are just a bunch of pixels, and there are a lot of Pokemon floating around in there that I've NEVER used in an Elite Four battle, some of which I've never even caught! The background music changes when I look in the Hall of Fame, and my play time also changes by a few seconds, too. Fortunately, that is the only permanent damage done to my game. I didn't lose any Pokemon, and the Hall of Fame in Pokemon Stadium is just fine. MissingNo.... more elusive than Mew and more mysterious than Unown! Now THIS is what I call a RARE Pokemon!"

From Akichiru:

"My Pokemon Leauge PC also messed up, it now shows pictures of a lot of pokemon that I never used at Indigo. It also gives me something that looks like a cross between Bulbasaur and Hitmonchan, and a really scary-looking thing that looks like a skeleton. I swear, it's really scary, I could not sleep that night! All of the data is messed up too, the pokemon are sometimes named differently, and it shows some of my Rival's pokemon along with some that are apparently of Team Rocket (at least that's what it says). And every time I log on and go through the list again, the pokemon are all different! But strangely enough, I have seen MissingNo in there, classified as a flying-type.

"There is also another cute glitch with the 'M Pokemon. If you find a level 0 'M and capture it, it will be transferred to your PC or party, and then there will suddenly be a Ditto in front of you, as if that was the wild pokemon all along. It's kinda weird, how you capture it but do not leave the battle. Then you can easily capture a level 0 Ditto.

"One more thing: You know how the Substitute attack on Stadium looks like a baby Rhydon? Well, if you check the stats of a MissingNo on Stadium (if it registers), it will look like the Substitute. And you cannot bring it into battle, even if it is between the levels of 1 and 100. Weird, huh?"

From Jasmin Stokes:

"My buddy Pickle CAUGHT (gasp) a MissingNo. His pkmn league site was messed up too, and his missingno had sky attack and two water guns (darn him, he lied and said that he TAUGHT it the attacks, liar!). And you know when. you press start and go to pokemon theres those stupid pictures (like all water pokemon look like Blastoise). well his missingno constantly changes pictorial. As he turned his game on to show me, he said it looked like a mouse one day, and, to my amazement, his missingno (ongnissim as he called it) looked exactly like officer jenny (in his mini pic of course). My bro also had his pkmn league site stuffed, he had Gary, Ratatta and Golduck."

Fascinating, isn't it? The same Glitch Pokemon apparently can have different effects on different Game Boys. Although I do wonder about this glitch's appearance: some people describe their MissingNo as an L-shaped pixelly blob, while others have seen the "ghost" MissingNo that I have on my version of Pokemon Blue. What might be the reason for this?

Here's one theory: the time at which your copy of Pokemon Blue or Red was made might have affected the game data. For example, sometimes with video games, there are odd glitches discovered in an early version that have been 'corrected' for later versions. (I once read a lengthy article about Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that describes various tricks you can try only on early versions of the game... these tricks don't work at all on later versions.) I'm wondering if our buddy MissingNo might have originally looked like the pixelled blob, but perhaps was 'altered' to look like the un-Silphed ghost for later versions...? I know that I jumped on the Pokemon bandwagon much later than most people (I didn't get into the game until after I was hooked on the anime) so maybe I have a later version.

What exactly IS it that makes MissingNo and 'M appear? I know for a fact that the cranky man in Viridian (who needs his coffee) can trigger the appearance of Glitch Pokemon. (Can other characters in the game do this?) But what makes this happen? Here's a thought... you have to actually watch his demonstration of catching a Weedle for the glitches to appear. And the coast of Cinnabar Island is the place where you battle Pokemon from the very last place you visited. Could it be that the Weedle the old man catches is a glitch itself? It doesn't attack... it can be caught instantly without having to be weakened... and there's no way for the player to catch it. It's quite possible that the programmers designed the 'beta-test' Pokemon first, to develop how wild Pokemon are supposed to act. But since the Weedle isn't technically a "wild" Pokemon, perhaps it shares the primary characteristics of the Glitches? Perhaps the programming info used to create this Weedle is the same used for MissingNo and 'M (two other Pokemon never meant to be caught).

And what about Japanese versions of the game? According to rumor, Japanese versions of Pokemon allow you to catch Mew (but you have to follow a really weird chain of events to get it). And Pokemon Crystal in Japan lets players acquire a Celebi. While I don't think this is fair (naturally!) it makes me wonder about the glitches we have. Does MissingNo (and 'M, for that matter) appear in Japanese copies of Red and Blue (and Green)? Or is this strictly a US/European glitch? Are there other strange glitches out there that most players have never heard of?

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