Pikachu

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For fighter info, see Pikachu (SSB), Pikachu (SSBM), Pikachu (SSBB), Pikachu (SSB4), and Pikachu (SSBU).
Pikachu

Pikachu FireRed LeafGreen.png

Pikachu-LibreORAS.png


PokemonSymbol.svg
Official artwork of Pikachu and Pikachu Libre.
Universe Pokémon
Debut Pokémon Red and Green Versions (1996) Japan
Smash Bros. appearances SSB
Melee
Brawl
SSB4
Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019)
Console/platform of origin Game Boy
Species Pikachu
Gender Varies
Place of origin Kanto
Created by Atsuko Nishida
Designed by Ken Sugimori
Voice actor Ikue Ōtani
Article on Bulbapedia Pikachu (Pokémon)

Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a fictional creature from the Pokémon series. It debuted in the series' first generation, and represents that generation as a member of the "perfect-attendance crew" throughout the Super Smash Bros. series. Similarly to Mario and Link, Pikachu is one of the most well-known video game characters in the world, to the point of being the de facto mascot of the Pokémon series.

Origin[edit]

Pikachu's original artwork from Pokémon Red and Green.

Pikachu is a small, rodent-like Pokémon characterized by its yellow fur, long, conical ears with black tips, thunder bolt-shaped tail, and round, red cheeks. A pure Electric-type Pokémon, it is categorized within the Pokédex at #025 as the "Mouse Pokémon". The extensive variety of Pokédex entries available for Pikachu throughout the Pokémon series provide plenty of biological information about the species: it stores electric energy within its cheeks, and releases this energy when startled or angered. Groups of Pikachu typically live in secluded forests, and can occasionally cause thunderstorms when gathered together. It is the evolved form of Pichu, and evolves into Raichu when exposed to a Thunder Stone.

In the core series, Pikachu is a relatively weak yet somewhat rare Pokémon that can be found early in the series' first generation of games: Pokémon Red, Green and Blue Versions. Unlike certain Pokémon that had plot elements wrapped around them, such as Mewtwo, Pikachu was simply a Pokémon that could be readily caught, evolved into a stronger form, and had no bearing on the story.

However, Pikachu's popularity skyrocketed thanks to the Pokémon anime, where a member of its species became the first Pokémon acquired by Ash Ketchum, the anime's main character. This, in turn, led to the creation of Pokémon Yellow Version, a remake of Red, Green and Blue Versions that is largely based on the anime. In keeping with the anime, a Pikachu is the first Pokémon that the player obtains, and its digitized cry from the previous versions is replaced with voiced soundbites provided by Ikue Ōtani, Pikachu's voice actress from the anime.

Pikachu's role in Yellow Version was greatly elaborated upon, as several events in the game depend on how Pikachu feels towards the player. Depending on the player's actions towards Pikachu, it will exhibit a variety of emotions when spoken to, varying from frustration, to amusement, to complete adoration. As such, Yellow Version became the first game in the series to implement a happiness mechanic, which has since become a series standard. Pikachu's temperament toward the player would also become a prerequisite for certain rewards in the game, most notably the acquisition of all three of the starter Pokémon from Red, Green and Blue Versions: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.

Following Yellow Version, Pikachu has since been featured in every core series game, and is usually associated with some new gameplay mechanic with each successive installment. It is also readily available to catch in all games within the core series, with the exception of those in the fifth generation (Pokémon Black and White Versions and Pokémon Black and White Versions 2). In Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions, released for the Game Boy Color, Pikachu gained a pre-evolutionary form called Pichu and the Light Ball item, the latter of which doubled Pikachu's Special Attack statistic when held. However, the Light Ball was only obtainable when trading a Pikachu over from the Yellow Version.

Pokémon Emerald Version, the solitary follow-up to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, granted Pikachu and its evolutionary relatives a signature move called Volt Tackle, an exceptionally powerful Electric-type attack that deals recoil damage and can only be attained by breeding a female Pikachu that holds a Light Ball. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions for the Nintendo DS introduced cosmetic differences between genders for certain species of Pokémon, with Pikachu being among of them; in Pikachu's case, females have a dent at the tip of their tails. The Light Ball was also improved, as it now doubles both Pikachu's Attack and Special Attack stats.

Pokémon X and Y featured Ikue Ōtani voicing Pikachu in the core series for the first time since Yellow Version, a change which has been retained moving forward. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the remakes of the Ruby and Sapphire Versions, introduced Cosplay Pikachu, a female Pikachu that can wear costumes that correspond to the five contest conditions and grant her a respective move that her species cannot normally learn.

Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced Z-Crystals, two of which (Pikanium Z and Pikashunium Z) are exclusive to Pikachu, alongside a Pikachu based on Ash's that can wear one of his numerous hats. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, remakes of Yellow Version, feature a Pikachu as the player's partner Pokémon in Let's Go, Pikachu!. In contrast to previous starter Pokémon, the partner Pikachu has various traits that notably distinguish it from other members of its species, such as exclusive moves and customization through various outfits and hairstyles.

Most recently, Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced the Dynamax and the Gigantamax features, the latter of which is exclusive to specific members of certain species. By registering Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! with the games, the player will receive a special Pikachu with the ability turn into Gigantamax Pikachu. While Gigantamaxed, it is able to use G-Max Volt Crash, which paralyzes all opponents on the field.

Pikachu has also been featured in virtually every Pokémon-related spin-off game ever released, sometimes as a main character or merely being featured among the hundreds of other Pokémon species. Notable Pikachu-centric games include Hey You, Pikachu!, where the player can talk to Pikachu using the Voice Recognition Unit; Pokémon Channel, which is usually regarded as a spiritual sequel to Hey You, Pikachu!; and the PokéPark series, which features a Pikachu as the main character. The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series has also consistently featured Pikachu as one of the Pokémon that the player can start out as.

A more anthropomorphic Pikachu appears as the main character in the Detective Pikachu sub-franchise; in the Detective Pikachu film, Ryan Reynolds provides spoken English dialogue for the Pokémon, and Ōtani reprises her role to provide its traditional vocalizations.

Pikachu has also appeared in the Tamagotchi-style virtual pet simulator Pocket Pikachu, which is a small LCD device that owners can clip onto their belt. Whenever the user takes a step, it will register on the system, which will give Pikachu points in the form of "watts". Much like its fighting game appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, Pikachu is one of the playable Pokémon in Pokkén Tournament and its enhanced version. While the initial arcade release features a presumably male Pikachu, the female Cosplay Pikachu (in her Pikachu Libre outfit) was later introduced as an additional character with a different moveset.

Despite its iconic status and consistent viability in the Smash Bros. series, Pikachu has not seen such success in competitive Pokémon; because it is not fully evolved, it has unfavorable stats, including low defense and mediocre speed. Furthermore, the exclusive items intended to boost its stats⁠—Light Ball and the Z-Crystals—do not compensate for its low offenses because of said average speed.[1]

In Super Smash Bros.[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Official artwork of Pikachu in Super Smash Bros.
Main article: Pikachu (SSB)

Pikachu's debut in the Super Smash Bros. series is as one of the eight starter characters. Just like in its home series, Pikachu is a small, fast character whose playstyle is prominently dependent on its speed and powerful electrical attacks. Pikachu's neutral special move, Thunder Jolt, emits a bolt of electricity that bounces along the stage. Quick Attack is Pikachu's up special move and while it's not capable of dealing damage, it has fantastic recovery distance. Lastly, its down special move, Thunder, involves Pikachu striking itself with a thunderbolt that blasts anyone else standing in the way.

Pikachu is considered the best character among the SSB competitive community and is ranked 1st on the tier list, placing it in the S tier.

In-game description:

Pikachu
Mouse PKMN
Height 1'4"
Weight 13lbs
When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could cause lightning storms.
(Pokédex excerpt)
Works:

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSBM)
Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Pikachu returns as a starter character. While its playstyle is still incredibly similar to its first appearance, Pikachu was nerfed in Melee. Despite this, Pikachu still holds up at 9th out of 26 on the tier list, ranking at C tier. It has gained Skull Bash as a side special move, and possesses a respectable mix of speed and power. On the character selection screen, Pikachu is the only Pokémon which is available from the start of the game. It appears initially after Mario (on the top row) but when Luigi is unlocked, it moves to the bottom row. Before Luigi (from the Mario universe) and the rest of the Pokemon universe characters aside from Pikachu (including Jigglypuff, Pichu, and Mewtwo) are unlocked, Pikachu is sandwiched in the Mario section (as it appears after Mario). This is because it's the only character who appears part of the unlockable character section in the character selection screen.

Trophies[edit]

In line with the other playable characters, there are three Pikachu trophies obtained by defeating the single-player modes - a normal trophy from Classic Mode, and "Smash Red" and "Smash Blue" trophies from the Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively. The Classic mode trophy reads:

Pikachu
It's safe to say that Pikachu is the most famous and popular of all Pokémon. It has electric pouches in both cheeks; when in danger, it shoots electricity at its enemies. Although Pikachu can evolve into Raichu by exposure to a Thunderstone, many trainers like Pikachu so much that they don't let it evolve.
  • Pokémon Red & Blue 9/98 (GB)

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSBB)
Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Pikachu returns as a starter character in Brawl. Visually, Pikachu has barely changed at all from its Melee design, only being touched up slightly. While its position on the tier list isn't much of an improvement from Melee, Pikachu is considered to have been buffed in Brawl, becoming more powerful and gaining many new techniques such as Quick Attack canceling and two chain grabs in exchange for mainly weaker knockback in its attacks. Pikachu is ranked 8th on the tier list, placing it in the B tier. Like the rest of Brawl's cast, Pikachu possesses a Final Smash, a new kind of special attack that debuted in Brawl. In Pikachu's case, its Final Smash is its signature move in the Pokémon series, Volt Tackle, which involves it generating a giant ball of electricity around itself that can be controlled by the player in order to slam into and/or shock the opponent.

Trophy[edit]

Pikachu's trophy in Brawl
Pikachu
A Mouse Pokémon. Its lightning-bolt tail and round cheeks are its trademarks. When danger draws near, it uses tiny electric pouches within its cheeks to discharge electricity. When it's really fired up, it unleashes thunderbolts on its rivals. It's said to recharge when it's sleeping. It evolves into Raichu.
Game Boy: Pokémon Red/Blue
Nintendo DS: Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

Sticker[edit]

Name Game Effect Character(s)
Pikachu Pokémon series EffectIcon(Electric).png PikachuHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Pikachu (Pokemon series).png
Pikachu
(Pokémon series)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSB4)
Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Pikachu returns as a starter character, with its design having been updated to appear in line with its more recent appearances in the Pokémon series, namely being slimmed down somewhat.

Pikachu is ranked 15th on the SSB4 tier list. Pikachu received some nerfs in the transition from Brawl, such as its powerful down throw and forward throw chain grabs (which were a large part of Pikachu's prior success in Brawl) being removed, and lower damage outputs on some moves. In return, Pikachu benefits from the changes to hitstun canceling, which improve its combo game by enabling its attacks to chain together easier. Some of its attacks' ranges and their KO potential were also improved. However, Pikachu suffers from poor endurance, and has a general lack of reliable KO options. Despite having a small playerbase in the competitive scene, Pikachu still gained a bit of success in the Smash 4 metagame from a few players.

Trophies[edit]

Pikachu
North America Recognized the world over, Pikachu is an Electric-type Pokémon that stores energy in its cheeks for use in battle. In Smash Bros., Pikachu is a well-rounded fighter with speedy, powerful electric attacks. Quick Attack can be used twice in a row if two directions are input, one after another.
Europe Pikachu is famous worldwide as the face of the Pokémon series. There's a lot of electricity stored in those rosy cheeks, and in this game, that allows for some devastating attacks, like Thunder Jolt. Tip: Input another direction after using Quick Attack to get a second burst. It's top-notch for recoveries!
Pikachu (Alt.)
North America Pikachu's Thunder Jolt fires off a ball of electricity that bounces across the stage, getting weaker as it travels. It does more damage to enemies in the air. The default down special, Thunder, causes a lightning strike that both shocks opponents and turns Pikachu invincible for a split second.
Europe Pikachu's Thunder Jolt fires off a ball of electricity that bounces across the stage, getting weaker as it travels. Airborne enemies will take extra damage from it and get launched further. The default down special, Thunder, causes a lightning strike that both shocks opponents and turns Pikachu invincible for a split second.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Main article: Pikachu (SSBU)

Pikachu returns as a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the first time in the series, Pikachu now has female variants to choose from via alternate costumes, one of which is Cosplay Pikachu wearing the Pikachu Libre attire. Pikachu received several changes and buffs in the transition to Ultimate, including a new neutral aerial that acts similarly to Mewtwo's. It is considered to be one of the best characters in the game.

Spirits[edit]

No. Image Name Type Origin Game
407
Pikachu Spirit.png
Pikachu Fighter Spirit Pokémon Red & Green
408
Pikachu Libre Spirit.png
Pikachu Libre Fighter Spirit Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
562 DetectivePikachuSpirit.png Detective Pikachu Support Detective Pikachu
1,298
Let's Go Pikachu Spirit.png
Partner Pikachu Support Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Due to Pokémon Yellow Version, Pikachu is technically the first playable starter Pokémon.
  • Pikachu and Charizard are the only playable Pokémon that are game mascots.
  • Pikachu is the only playable Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series to have a visible gender difference. Male Pikachu look like the one in the Super Smash Bros. series, while females have a dent at the tip of their tails. However, gender differences in the Pokémon series were introduced in Generation IV, which debuted well after SSB and Melee did. Given this, and the fact that its alternate costumes include hats worn by male characters, the Pikachu in the Super Smash Bros. series is commonly perceived as male. In addition, Ultimate gave it two distinctly female variants via alternate costumes. Despite this, Pikachu is not listed under a specific gender, as Nintendo and its affiliates primarily use gender-neutral pronouns for all Pokémon, regardless of a species' appearance/gender ratio or lack thereof.
  • Pikachu is the only character in the entire Super Smash Bros. series to have only four alternate costumes in the first three Super Smash Bros. games. It has eight alternate costumes in SSB4, just like every other character aside from Little Mac and the Mii Fighters.
  • As of the current tier lists for each installment of Super Smash Bros., Pikachu and Fox McCloud are the only characters who have never been ranked lower than the upper portion of the mid-tier.
    • Both characters have incidentally also been at the top of a tier list before.
  • Pikachu is the only Pokémon to be a starter character in every Super Smash Bros. game.
  • Pikachu's poses for its Classic trophy in Melee and its official artwork for SSB4 are based on the sprite of Red's Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow Version.
  • Both Pikachu and Jigglypuff were the most recently introduced characters at the time of Smash 64's release date.
  • As Pokemon are neutrally aligned, Pikachu is the only "Original 8" member that is not a protagonist.
  • Pikachu and Mario are the only "Original 8" members that were never sole representatives of their series, as Jigglypuff and Luigi debuted alongside them.

References[edit]