Tales from the Glitch 5:

TR Rose Catches a MissingNo.

After reading all these reports, with supposedly no real lasting problems with the games (with the exception of the Hall of Fame, of course), I decided that enough was enough. I was going to catch this little sucker and see for myself.

"'M, Getto Daze!"

Armed with three Pokemon - Lv. 54 Articuno, Lv. 71 Mewtwo, and Lv. 52 Blastoise - I headed once again for Viridian City to see Mr. Coffee's demonstration, then away to Cinnabar Island. My Pokemon and I were ready to capture the elusive Glitch Pokemon, 'M and MissingNo.

I first encountered the high-level Magnemite and a few wild Pidgeotto (I had previously been Surfing in the area south of Pallet Town, discovering another strip of land/water that yielded land-type Pokemon that were found on the opposite bank... turns out it's just a run-of-the-mill mistake, no MissingNo or other freaky Pokemon appeared there). Then I ran into a Lv. 0 'M. It took a few Ultra Balls (which I had luckily cloned upon my last encounter with the Glitches) but I finally caught 'M. But it didn't go away! I had 'M in my roster (didn't want it sent away to Bill's PC!) but 'M was still in front of me. So I kept throwing Ultra Balls at it. Then it said I caught Ditto!

'M's stats looked like this:

Type 1/Bird
Type 2/Normal
All stats at 5
Exp. Pts. (pixel) 777136, 186 to Lv. 1
That's strange... there is no "Bird" type Pokemon! Even Poke's like Pidgeotto and Spearow are "Flying", not "Bird"! (And aren't they Type 1/Normal, Type 2/Flying? Is ANY Pokemon from R/B/Y Type 1/Flying?) Although I've heard a theory on this "Bird" business: in early translations of Pokemon, "Flying" types are called "Bird" types. These are the same versions that have various "Engrish" mistakes - if you search for old 'teaser' screenshots for Pokemon, you may see some of these, such as "The BROCK wants to battle!" (this is actually found inside the instruction booklet for Blue!) When the final version was released, these grammatical mistakes were fixed up. But since 'M and MissingNo weren't supposed to make it into the final version, this wasn't adjusted for them.

By the way, on my POKEMON screen, the image for 'M kept flashing between a little boy and an odd football-looking thing. However, when I was in a battle and trying to switch Pokemon, the image was just a strange-looking pixel.

Here's my roster: Articuno, Blastoise, Mewtwo, 'M, and Ditto. Okay... I decided it was time to test out my new Pokemon. Flying back to Pallet Town, I walked north into the grassy area. I beat something low-leveled (Rattata, I believe), and was carrying my EXP. ALL. Upon gaining "0 exp." from the EXP. ALL, 'M "grew to Lv. 100" and began to evolve. It looked like a Kangaskhan, and was trying to evolve INTO a Kangaskhan. But I cancelled evolution, and was left with 'M. 'M never tried to evolve a second time. Now 'M's stats looked like this:

Attack: 291
Defense: 19
Speed: 81
Special: 35

Exp. Pts: 345420, 0 to Lv. 100

Terrified my game might mess up, I flew to Viridian and opened Bill's PC. I deposited and then released 'M. "Bye, 'M!" Then I checked my Hall of Fame. It was even more glitched than before. At times, the screen would turn completely black or white, sometimes with a Pokemon cry (as if a totally black screen was a normal Hall of Fame screen). Attack names (such as Comet Punch or Bubble) were glitched around the screen. The words TMTRAINER were everywhere. 'M appeared in the Hall of Fame: not just as the Bird/Normal creature that always shows up, but as a square-shaped pixelly blob (surprisingly, as a Rock/Ground type)! Then - and this is the weirdest part - the WHOLE SCREEN turned bright pink! (NOTE: I was playing on Pokemon Stadium's Doduo Tower, hence the color.) There was an odd buzzing sound. When I pushed the A button again, the pink screen remained (no picture of a Pokemon, though) with Type 1 being "Pokemaniac"! Creepy! And then... as I hit the pink screen, the music changed. It sounded like the treble line only of the "walking around" music (like when you're south of Pallet Town, in the grass). Another time when I viewed the Hall of Fame, only the percussion track remained, another time it was the bass line. All quite strange.

"MissingNo, Getto Daze!"

Now I wanted MissingNo, not to mention the Lv. 80 'M I had seen before. So I ventured back to Viridian and flew to Cinnabar once again. It wasn't long before I found and captured the Lv. 80 'M, a Lv. 80 Ditto, and a MissingNo (Lv. 163). Now I wanted to test these suckers out in battle.

'M, with its powerful Sky Attack (as well as two Water Guns), did very well. MissingNo, however, began acting strangely. After one battle, it "grew to lv. 100", with 1,000,000 exp pts! Then, after battling a Lv. 80 'M, MissingNo "grew to lv. 70" and its stats changed again (now attack and speed were the highest, while defense and special had been higher before). Every time MissingNo "levels up", the stats change randomly. Also, I discovered that every time a wild 'M was hit, its pixels moved slightly. I continued to search Cinnabar, and while I did find more 'Ms, I never found another MissingNo... perhaps there is only one!

I did move onto other areas to train, but found little else of interest. But I did notice one strange thing... While I was battling (but not while I was walking around), the image of my trainer and the enemy Pokemon looked glitched. Sometimes MissingNo would take on the appearance of the opposing Pokemon. The enemy Pokemon's image was flipped left to right as well. (For example, the Rattata that once faced left was now facing right). All very strange.

So what's the final result? I released the glitches (by the way, they DID look like the 'baby Rhydon/baby Kangaskhan substitute doll' in Pokemon Stadium). My Hall of Fame is totally botched (with pink screens and screwed-up music). But I am a better trainer for the experience...

Just something else to think about... of all the Pokemon that have "baby" forms, why doesn't Kangaskhan? I mean, we've got baby Pikachu, baby Magmar, Baby Electabuzz... but Kangaskhan actually *has* a baby, carried in its pouch! Why can't we control the baby until it grows up a bit? Hmm... One wonders if MissingNo was the original baby Kangaskhan, and after the glitch issue, the idea was scrapped...?

12/9/03 Update

So I was looking over my notes and I realized that I allowed the glitched graphics to worry me about my game's status, even when new discoveries could be made. I decided that, once again, I should try capturing the Glitches and seeing what they're capable of.

I hunted down MissingNo first, and captured it (at Lv. 163). I immediately took it to the Cinnabar training area and battled a Muk, at which time MissingNo grew to Lv. 100 and changed from Water to Electric type! It still had its original moves, however (I taught it Strength and Surf beforehand), and it was still quite strong.

A few observations: although the 'back of MissingNo's head' is always a glitchy box of pixels, it sometimes changes colors depending on what Pokemon is being battled (for example, the pixels were lighter when I battled a Ponyta). MissingNo's cry in battle was different from its cry when I checked its Pokemon stats.

Sometimes, the back of MissingNo's head would be the same as the opponent Pokemon: this happened when battling a Rattata, Geodude, and Magnemite. Maybe it's because these are low-level/small picture Pokemon? I have no idea.

Being Lv. 100, it was a pretty strong Pokemon, so I decided to take the ultimate Hall of Fame risk - battle the Elite Four USING MissingNo! First off, it took a long time to "summon" MissingNo to the battlefield. Also, its level changed randomly, from 100 to 92, to 84... and its type changed from Water to Electric to Normal... sometimes its stats would utterly suck, then a level change later it would be powerful. Hmm.

Also, the graphics only glitched when I checked MissingNo's stats during the battle. Of course, once I did that, even the Elite Four's images were glitched.

BUT! MissingNo appeared in my Hall of Fame (no image, however). The HoF was stranger than ever once I checked it later: there were MANY instances of "Type 1/Bird Type 2/Normal" Pokemon without images (lots of MissingNos?). There were many pages with the Pokemon's picture as a large glitched block. One of these had the "cry" of 'Professor Oak thinks your Pokedex is good', another had the 'open Pokemon menu' sound. A few pages actually SAID "MissingNo." Some pages required 'scrolling' through lots of characters before progressing. There were a lot of strange type combos listed in there: Normal/Normal types, Normal/Ghost types (does that even make sense?), Bug/Dragon types, and lots more. But most interesting of all... I saw a MEW in my HoF! And oddly enough, it was the only page that DIDN'T have glitches all over it! And it listed Mew's name as "R". Mew is sooo cute, I want one! :)

Another interesting note: until I battled the Elite Four, my Hall of Fame wasn't changed by running into and catching MissingNo. Maybe 'M is the only one who does that naturally.

1/26/04 Update

Finally getting my paws on a copy of Pokemon Stadium 2, I popped my old Blue cartidge into the Transfer Pak and checked things out. By the way, I never did release that MissingNo I captured, so it was still in my party. Back in Oak's renovated Lab, I checked my party Pokemon...

Whoa! MissingNo is a Ditto! At level 91, all it knows is Transform. Still named MissingNo, though. Wondering if my Glitch had really changed form, I visited the GB Tower and fired up the game... MissingNo is still his Glitchy self. Weird!

Another thing I noticed as I restarted my Crystal version: Nintendo didn't want a reprise of the MissingNo glitch in later versions. The guy (named "DUDE") who teaches you how to catch Pokemon only gives his spiel ONCE, after you've gotten the 5 Poke Balls from Elm's assistant. Afterwards, he'll only tell you that Pokemon randomly appear in tall grass.


Well, I fired up my trusty copy of Blue last night, hoping to find some interesting pictures in my Hall of Fame, and was I ever shocked! After trading Pokemon between Blue and Crystal on Pokemon Stadium 2 (for some reason, I can't use a link cable to trade between those two versions. Maybe because I've glitched up my Blue so much...?), my MissingNo has permanently become a Ditto! I had noticed, viewing MissingNo on Stadium 2 showed a level 100 Ditto (only knowing Transform) - a change from the original Stadium, which showed his image as the Substitute doll. Now, I have a perfectly normal Ditto named MissingNo!

Well, that wasn't going to work for me, so I visited Mr. Coffee and journeyed back to Cinnabar. Oddly enough, I only found 1 MissingNo, but I did find quite a few versions of 'M. I captured a level 0 'M and a level 80 'M, and took them out for some training. I sent the level 0 'M against a level 2 Rattata, then switched it out before the glitch was KO'ed. After the battle, 'M earned 7 exp., grew to level 100, and proceeded to evolve into a Kangaskhan (who knew 2 Water Guns and Sky Attack).

I ventured to a Pokemon Center and checked my Hall of Fame. WOW, it was truly messed up! One image looked like a half-scrambled Bulbasaur mixed with pixels of "something else". The third screen in was covered with the words KANGASKHAN repeating over and over, plus a whole mess of 2's and 9's. This screen had an extremely long Pokemon cry, one that was slow, drawn out, and at one point, went up and down the musical scale! I've NEVER heard anything like that before! Slightly nervous (I thought my game had crashed), I released Kangaskhan.

I may have come up with some explanation for one aspect of the Glitches, however. If you notice, when you capture an 'M in the wild, you have to keep fighting it after it's caught. Catch the second 'M, and you'll receive a Ditto of the same level. Why does this happen? Here's my theory: Ditto was probably the very last Pokemon programmed since it acts like EVERY Pokemon in the game, meaning the others had to be developed first. Since MissingNo and 'M were used to program the other Pokemon, they were last used to program Ditto and its Transform move. Perhaps this is why MissingNo mimics the attack types of the last Pokemon used in battle - it's almost doing Ditto's move! 'M and Ditto occupying the same Pokemon space (Ditto remaining after 'M is caught) was probably the last test before the Ditto Pokemon was perfected. Hence the advanced technology of Pokemon Stadium 2 recognizes something in the code that Stadium 1 doesn't (1 gives it a junk image), and sees that the Glitches are supposed to be Dittos!


Acquired a used copy of Pokemon Red at a local GameStop. After noting some "unusual" Pokemon names (not to mention the trainer's name), I noticed that this trainer had been doing the MissingNo trick right before he sold his copy. I wondered why, also seeing that he hadn't defeated the Elite Four yet (no Hall of Fame data). I saw that he had caught a high-level Haunter on Cinnabar, and I was curious to see what else he had. Completely despising the old R/B/Y PC system, I took the game home and plugged it into Pokemon Stadium 2.

I first opened the game in the GB tower (after my husband chuckled at the trainer's name). I decided to deposit a Pokemon and withdraw another, when I suddenly noticed the cause of this trainer's problems. I opened the box to withdraw, and the first Pokemon I saw inside was an 'M! So I selected the glitch and chose Withdraw. The game froze completely, so I pushed C-up and exited.

I visited Professor Oak's lab, and manually moved the offending Pokemon (now Dittos, by the way) out of the box and into the party. I saved, then restarted the GB Tower. Now the PC storage system worked fine! So if you find your game frozen by evil glitches, just plug the game into Pokemon Stadium (I didn't try it with Stadium 1, just 2) and you can 'hack' the PC through Oak's lab!

Another way to get a (pixel-form) MissingNo (no matter what your trainer's name is): Do the Mew trick and battle the Gambler. Then, fly to Lavender Town and go South. The second Fisherman (who you can also use for the trick, BTW) will produce a MissingNo at level 7. Perhaps there are other trainers who will do the same?

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