The Pokémon universe (ポケットモンスター, Pocket Monsters) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that originate from Nintendo's immensely successful Pokémon media franchise. Pokémon is one of Nintendo's two most lucrative franchises, reaching only behind the Mario franchise in global video game sales and cementing its success outside of gaming via animated series, manga and merchandise; as of December 2016, Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time with combined global sales of 6.0 trillion Japanese yen (55.15 billion USD). Thus, a rather large proportion of each Smash Bros. game's primary content is themed after the Pokémon series, and many of the other eponymous Pokémon creatures have made smaller cameos appearances elsewhere. Counting all Smash Bros. games' rosters together, more Pokémon have been playable characters than most other represented franchises: Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pichu, Mewtwo, Lucario, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard, Greninja, and Incineroar. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard were featured as a set of freely interchangeable combatants collectively represented by the character choice Pokémon Trainer.
Pokémon was introduced in Japan in February 1996 by Nintendo and the second-party game developer, Game Freak, as "Pocket Monsters", a Game Boy JRPG that came in slightly modified Red and Green editions that both made then-original use of the Game Boy's connection cable between separate systems in that, rather than being strictly used for competition, it was additionally used for cooperative data transfer between players. Nintendo did not expect these games to be a large success, even less so in the West than domestically, but the games - branded Pokémon outside of Japan - took both sides of the Pacific and Atlantic by storm and quickly established the series as a blockbuster, multi-billion dollar franchise. The main JRPG series paved the way for a merchandising empire, including an extensive anime continuity, several series of manga, a bestselling trading card game, video games touching upon many other genres, and a live-action feature film. Pokémon has become the second biggest-selling game-based media franchise of all time, only behind Nintendo's Mario franchise; as of March 2013, cumulative sold units (including home console versions) have reached 245 million copies. As a direct result, Pokémon has been a mainstay in the Nintendo-centric crossover fighting games Super Smash Bros. since the series started in 1999.
In the various incarnations of the Pokémon universe, the world of Pokémon is an Earth-like world inhabited by many species of the eponymous Pokémon creatures which coexist with humans. The Pokémon are colorful, sentient, sometimes sapient creatures possessing the abilities to perform amazing talents of seemingly every conceivable sort, examples of which are breathing fire, expulsing poisonous smog, summoning rainfall, performing martial arts, using illusion to split up into multiple copies of itself, employing psychokinesis, unleashing paralysis-inducing electricity, etc. Many Pokémon live as wild animals both as predators and prey, while other individual Pokémon are immensely powerful beings that the world's human denizens superstitiously attach a variety of creation myths to, and others still are man-made. Unlike the main RPG series itself, where all Pokémon make animal-like grunts and vocalizations (except for Pikachu in Yellow and the sixth generation), most Pokémon in the anime freely communicate with each other in an exclusive language that consists entirely of them reciting their own species names, but some can communicate in human tongue through telepathy (e.g. Mewtwo), and in extremely rare cases a Pokémon can master the ability to speak the physical human tongue (e.g. a particular Meowth). This is retained in various spinoff games, such as the Super Smash Bros. series itself and Detective Pikachu. As of the present "seventh generation", there are 809 recognized species of Pokémon, a fair portion of which are known to have multiple, distinctive forms.
The concepts of the Pokémon setting, in whatever incarnation it takes or what kind of media it is depicted in, stem from the hobby of insect collecting, which was a popular pastime which Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri had enjoyed as a child. In most depictions of Pokémon, humans of varying interests seek out and capture various and multiple species of Pokémon using specially designed mass-producible tools called Poké Balls. In most cases, a Pokémon caught from the wild by a human willingly joins up with the human and obeys his or her spoken commands. Some catch and own Pokémon as friendly pets and lifelong companions and do not participate in any competitive activities with them. Others of a less savory nature, such as members of Pokémon crime syndicates such as Team Rocket, capture Pokémon and use them as living tools to advance their evil agendas. Most humans, however, including players of the Pokémon RPGs, take on the occupation of Pokémon training; they catch and collect Pokémon to train them and battle the Pokémon of other trainers in officially sponsored competitive Pokémon matches. There are never any lasting, bloody wounds or deaths incurred by the creatures involved, and seemingly never any hard feelings between winners and losers.
The two-stage object of most Pokémon RPGs is to collect all of the available Pokémon species in the region where that RPG takes place in, and from them train a winning team of powerful combat Pokémon to defeat the professionally trained Pokémon teams of that region's strongest trainers. The player's quest always takes him or her across the region to battle eight specialists in Pokémon training, that region's "gym leaders", and once eight commemorative badges have been gathered, the player may then go to the region's Pokémon League and battle an elite group of trainers - that region's Elite Four - and then battle the regional Champion to take the title. These five trainers, which must be battled one-after-the-other with no rest in between, are almost always the game's equivalent to any other RPG's "final boss" challenge. Pokémon captured from the wild with Poké Balls accumulate experience and learn new combat moves by battling many wild Pokémon and challenging other trainer's Pokémon to Pokémon matches, and whenever a Pokémon falls in battle ("knocked out"), it is easy to quickly and completely restore it to health, free of charge, by visiting one of many Pokémon Centers located throughout a region. Many species of Pokémon, when they gain enough experience and regardless of whether they are in the wild or under a trainer's ownership, undergo a metamorphosis and "evolve" into a similar, but larger and more powerful, species of Pokémon. Many of the 809 species belong to such lineages, and therefore many of the species of Pokémon are effectively different stages of what can be said to be several hundred "families" of Pokémon.
The Pokémon franchise's chronology is divided into "generations", each of which is defined by the newest Pokémon that are introduced within the newest pair of handheld Pokémon RPGs. Some generations may have more than one pair of interlinking RPGs, with the second set being released later than the first as a sort of "semi-sequel" to the base set that began that generation, but a new generation and associated set of new Pokémon are released every several years in a new pair of RPGs centered on a new fictional region. There have been seven generations that ran their courses and an upcoming eighth, and each have introduced many, many dozens of new Pokémon, moves, and characters as well as new and changed mechanics and gameplay concepts:
In addition to the main series games, there also exists a multitude of spin-off games. The gameplay of these games can be similar or drastically different compared to the main series games, and can also have different goals of the game. These games are:
The Pokémon series' initial incarnation and set of releases were in effect when Super Smash Bros. was released in 1999, so only Pokémon from what is now referred to as the franchise's "first generation" are featured in the game.
With two of the twelve playable characters in the game being Pokémon species themselves, the Pokémon franchise ties with the Mario series in having the most amount of characters available on the roster (and becomes the second most-represented series if one counts Donkey Kong and Yoshi as extensions of the Mario series). Mewtwo was originally planned to be a playable character, but was removed for unknown reasons.
Super Smash Bros. features one Pokémon-themed stage:
Super Smash Bros. introduces what has since been the only Pokémon-related item featured throughout the Smash Bros. series until SSB4:
Following the release of the first Smash Bros., the Pokémon series entered its second generation in 1999, so Pokémon from the two existing generations at the time are featured in 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee.
While four of the 26 playable characters are Pokémon, the Pokémon series is now the third most-represented in the game, falling behind the five characters of The Legend of Zelda.
Additionally, Ditto makes an appearance as the graphic for a random character and color choice when setting up a Winner Out or Loser Out style tournament in the Tournament Mode.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two stages representing Pokémon, one starter and one unlockable. While the second generation of Pokémon games introduced the Johto region in which they initially take place, it may be noted that both of the following stages nonetheless take place in Kanto, the region that was the setting of the first generation.
Full Trophy List
Main article: List of SSBM trophies (Pokémon series)
During the extended hiatus between Melee and Brawl, Pokémon proceeded with and completed its Third Generation, and had already begun its Fourth Generation in 2006-2007 when Brawl was released in 2008. Therefore, all four of the Pokémon generations at the time are represented in the Brawl package.
While Pokémon-related characters occupy four slots on the 35-slot character roster of the game, the franchise effectively contributes six unique playable characters, the largest of any represented franchise if not compared to a combination of Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Wario as one "overall" franchise; this is reflected in the Pokémon segment of the game's All-Star mode having the most opponents to fight. This is especially noteworthy because Pokémon is the only series to have more than one of its characters from Melee retired from Brawl, with the absence of both Pichu and Mewtwo in the roster.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), the Pokémon characters take up the seventh column.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl features three stages representing Pokémon, one starter and two unlockable, and one of them is a carry-over from the previous game, Melee:
Main article: List of SSBB trophies (Pokémon series)
Main article: List of stickers (Pokémon series)
In the interim between the releases of Brawl and the Wii U and 3DS Smash Bros. games, the Pokémon franchise once again proceeded with and completed a full generation, Generation V, and had started Generation VI, which allows for content from all six Pokémon generations to be featured in the most recent Smash Bros. game. Among the introductions in Generation VI are new, temporary "Mega Evolutions" for certain Pokémon species such as Lucario, Charizard, and Mewtwo who returns as the first downloadable character in Smash Bros.
Bold italics denotes an item new to the Smash Bros. series.
Poké Ball summons
A bolded lowercase Mu "μ" denotes a Pokémon that can be summoned from a Master Ball.
Smash Tour items
for Nintendo 3DS
Enemies exclusive to the 3DS version. They appear in Smash Run.
for Nintendo 3DS
for Wii U
Main article: List of SSB4 Music (Pokémon series)
Arrangements and remixes unique to SSB4.
Arrangements and remixes from previous Smash titles.
Compositions and arrangements directly sourced from Pokémon series with no alterations.
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (Pokémon series)
for Nintendo 3DS
for Wii U
Main article: Trophy Box
Poké Ball Summons
Games with elements in the Super Smash Bros. series
Pokémon Red and Green
The majority of playable characters from the Pokémon series as well as many Poké Ball Pokémon originated in these games. Pikachu and Jigglypuff are playable in all Smash Bros. games, Mewtwo is playable in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Squirtle and Ivysaur are playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Charizard is playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Pokémon Trainer, the umbrella character under which the previous three appear in Brawl and Ultimate, is based off of Red, the main character of these games.
Saffron City, one of the largest cities in the Kanto region, appears as a stage in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. One of the buildings fought upon in this stage is the Silph Co. HQ, a major story area towards the middle of the Kanto games. In addition, Butterfree, Fearow, Pidgey, Moltres, Porygon, Chansey, Charmander, Electrode, and Venusaur all appear on this stage.
Meanwhile, many other Original 151 Pokémon appear as stage elements on stages from all across the series. Squirtle, Onix, Psyduck, Weezing, Slowpoke, Porygon, Snorlax, Venusaur, Seel, Chansey, Goldeen, Lickitung, and Geodude all appear as Pokéfloats on the titular stage, Cubone and Dugtrio appear as background stage elements on the Ground transformation of Pokémon Stadium 2, and Dragonite and Blastoise appear on Kalos Pokémon League.
In addition, many Pokémon originating in these games appear as stage elements.
Being the first games, they also introduced the Poké Ball itself, which has appeared in every Smash game since. The rarest Poké Ball variation, the Master Ball, which allows players to catch a Pokémon without fail regardless of HP and status, appears as an item in Super Smash Bros. 4. Like the regular Poké Ball, the Master Ball releases a random Pokémon when thrown, but it will only release rare or legendary Pokémon from it, which is likely a reference that in the Pokémon games, players will likely use their one and only Master Ball on a rare and difficult to catch Pokémon such as a legendary Pokémon. Pokéball Pokémon from the original generation include Abra, Articuno, Beedrill, Blastoise, Chansey, Charizard, Clefairy, Ditto, Eevee, Electrode, Exeggutor, Goldeen, Hitmonlee, Koffing, Meowth, Mew, Moltres, Onix, Raichu, Snorlax, Staryu, Starmie, Venusaur, Vulpix, Weezing, and Zapdos.
Gastly and Koffing appear as enemies in Smash Run.
Poliwhirl appears as a trophy in Melee, as do human characters Misty and Professor Oak.
In all Smash games since Melee, Pikachu wears Red's hat from these games as an alternate costume.
Arbok, Kanto's Legendary Bird trio (Articuno, Zapdos, & Moltres), Charmander, Geodude, Hitmonlee, Porygon, Rapidash, Eevee, Gyarados, Vulpix, Clefairy, Dragonite, Lapras, and Slowpoke have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
The models used for the titular floats in Poké Floats were ripped straight from this game and its sequel.
Considered a spin-off title in the Pokémon series, this game's only representation is the ZERO-ONE trophy in Melee.
Pokémon Gold and Silver
Pichu, a playable fighter in Melee and Ultimate, made its debut in these games.
Many Pokémon that debuted from these games appear out of Poké Balls in Melee and Brawl, from the legendaries Ho-Oh, Lugia, Entei, Raikou, Suicune, and Celebi that rarely appear in a Poké Ball, to more common ones such as Chikorita, Wobbuffet, Bellossom, Cyndaquil, Marill, Porygon2, Scizor, Togepi, and Unown.
Chikorita, Wooper, Sudowoodo, Wobbuffet, and Unown all appear as Pokéfloats on the titular stage. Hoppip and Skarmory appear as background stage elements on the Flying transformation of Pokémon Stadium 2. Scizor appears as a regular background element on Kalos Pokémon League, while Ho-Oh occasionally appears as a hazard. A stage based on Sprout Tower from these games is believed to have been planned for Melee, but was scrapped in favor of Pokéfloats likely due to time constraints.
Totodile, Crobat, Igglybuff, Cleffa, and Heracross all appear as Trophies in Melee, with the very former also appearing in Brawl.
In Ultimate, Pikachu and Pokémon Trainer have alternate costumes based on Ethan.
Skarmory, Smeargle, Steelix, Togepi, Ampharos, Lugia, and Wobbuffet have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire mascots Groudon and Kyogre can appear out of Poké Balls in Brawl, Kyogre using Hydro Pump and Groudon using Overheat. Kyogre reprises its role in SSB4, though not Groudon. Kyogre will appear once again in this fashion in Ultimate. Other Pokémon introduced in these games, including Torchic, Gardevoir, Gulpin, and Metagross can also appear, many filling the roles of old Pokémon (for example, Torchic fills the role previously held by Cyndaquil). Examples of Legendary Pokémon that can appear from a Poké Ball in Brawl include Latios and Latias, Deoxys, Jirachi, and the aforementioned Kyogre and Groudon.
According to scrapped data in Brawl, there is a hypothesis that Plusle and Minun were originally planned to be playable characters.
Snorunt appears as a background stage element in Pokémon Stadium 2, on that stage's Ice transformation. Milotic appears on Unova Pokémon League. Blaziken and Wailord appear as regular background stage elements on Kalos Pokémon League, while Registeel and Rayquaza occasionally appear on the same stage as hazards.
In Brawl and SSB4, Jigglypuff wears a hibiscus as an alternate costume, similar to that of Phoebe of Hoenn's Elite Four, introduced in these games. In Ultimate, Pichu wears a Team Aqua bandana as part of an alternate costume.
Absol, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre, and Latios & Latias have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
While Red debuted in Pokémon Red and Green, his design from these games is used for the design of Pokémon Trainer in Brawl and Ultimate. Leaf debuts in these games as the female player character; in Brawl and SSB4, Jigglypuff wears her hat as an alternate costume. Leaf also appears as an alternate costume for Pokémon Trainer in Ultimate.
In Brawl, SSB4, and Ultimate, Pikachu wears Brendan's Emerald hat as an alternate costume. In Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer has an alternate costume based on May in her Emerald attire.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
Lucario, who debuted in these games, is a playable character in Brawl, SSB4 and Ultimate.
Meanwhile, Electivire, Magnezone, Snover, and Drifloon appear on Pokémon Stadium 2, Shaymin appears on Unova Pokémon League, and Garchomp, Infernape, Piplup, and Manaphy as a hazard appear on Kalos Pokémon League.
New selections of Sinnoh Pokémon appear as Poké Ball Pokémon in Brawl, these being Piplup, Bonsly, Munchlax, Manaphy, and Weavile. Other Pokémon debuting in these games, such as Giratina, Darkrai, and Arceus, are later available as Poké Ball Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Each of the Poké Ball Pokémon plus numerous others appear as trophies and stickers. Specifically, Turtwig, Chimchar, Starly, Buneary, Glaceon and Leafeon, Riolu, and Darkrai are all trophies in Brawl, and Porygon-Z would go on to get a trophy in Smash for 3DS.
In Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer has an alternate costume based on Lucas's attire from these games.
There are also a handful of songs originating from Diamond & Pearl:
Piplup and Rotom have thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
In SSB4 and Ultimate, Pikachu wears Ethan's hat as an alternate costume. In Ultimate, Pichu has an alternate costume based on the Spiky-eared Pichu.
Pokémon Black and White
The Unova Pokémon League appears as a stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, with Reshiram, Zekrom, and Whimsicott appearing as background characters, and N's Castle from the finale of Black and White rising up in the background.
Meanwhile, Hydreigon, Axew, Tepig, and Klinklang all appear on Kalos Pokémon League.
In addition to all of the above, Emolga and Audino appear as trophies, in Smash for 3DS.
In Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer has an alternate costume based on Hilda.
There are also collectible songs that appear in SSB4 originating from these games:
Oshawott, Victini, Zekrom, and Zoroark have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
One song in SSB4, Route 23, debuts from these games.
White Kyurem has been shown to appear as a Spirit in Ultimate.
Pokémon X and Y
Prism Tower appears as a stage in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. 4, with Helioptile and Yveltal appearing as background characters, while a stage based on the Kalos Pokémon League building is in the Wii U version, with transformations based on each member of Kalos' Elite Four, as well as Pyroar, Honedge, and Clawitzer appearing as background characters.
The Mega Evolution forms of Lucario, Charizard, and Mewtwo, Mega Lucario, X version exclusive Mega Charizard X, and Y exclusive Mega Mewtwo Y respectively, also debuted in these games, and they are activated by each characters' respective Final Smash. Various Mega Evolved Pokémon are also represented through trophies, including Venusaur, Blastoise, Blaziken, Kangaskhan, and Mega Mewtwo X.
Calum and Serena (listed as Pokémon Trainer (Pokémon X & Y)) and Professor Sycamore, human characters from these games, appear as trophies in Smash for 3DS.
In SSB4, Pikachu wears Calem's hat as an alternate costume. Also in those games, Jigglypuff wears Nurse Joy's hat as it appears in these games, as well as Serena's hat as alternate costumes. In Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer has an alternate costume based on Calem.
Interestingly, this is the only game in the series to provide directly ported music for the Super Smash Bros. series.
Yveltal, Volcanion, Diancie, and Xerneas have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Pikachu Libre, who debuted in these games, appears as an alternate costume for Pikachu in Ultimate.
Ultimate includes a remix of Battle! (Lorekeeper Zinnia) from these games' post-game Delta Episode, as well as one of Battle! (Steven) which is sourced from these games though it is present in the original Ruby and Sapphire.
Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre have both thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon Sun and Moon
Incineroar, the final evolution of the fire type starter of Litten, is a playable character in Ultimate.
Greninja gains a new form as Ash-Greninja in these games, and uses it during its Final Smash in Ultimate.
For alternative costumes, Pichu can wear a Team Skull bandana while Pikachu can wear Selene's hat from her design in these games in Ultimate.
The following thus far revealed music tracks for Ultimate come from these games:
Bewear, Rowlet, Mimikyu, Pyukumuku, and Magearna have all thus far been shown as Spirits in Ultimate.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
In Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer has an alternate costume based on Selene's design from these games.
Considered a spin-off title in the Pokémon series, this game's titular character, Detective Pikachu, appears as a Spirit. This is the first spin-off title to receive any representation at all in Smash since a single trophy in Melee.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
In Ultimate, Partner Pikachu and Partner Eevee appear as spirits in a post-launch update. They feature the artwork of Pikachu and Eevee from these games, and can be automatically obtained by having a save file of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! on the same Nintendo Switch (in addition to appearing normally on the Spirit Board).
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