Friday, June 27, 2014

Let's Bring Back Missingno.

I really enjoyed some of the quirks of Red and Blue. There are always aspects of the first game of a series that pull at one's nostaliga heart strings. For me, none pull quite as hard as Missingno. (referred to as MissingNO or Pokémon 000 by Nintendo). For those of you newer to the series, with many new players being too young to have potentially even have played Red and Blue, Missingno. is a glitch in the original games. However, in many ways, Missingno. is so much more as well. To quote Bulbapedia:

"Missingno. (Japanese: けつばんKetsuban) is a dual-type Bird/Normal glitch Pokémon in Pokémon Red and Blue, and a dual-type Normal/randomly named glitch type (which often has '9' in it) glitch Pokémon in Pokémon Yellow. It is arguably the best known glitch Pokémon, [...] it is the easiest glitch Pokémon to find in the localizations."

Missingno. is best known for the part it plays in the "Item Duplication Glitch". When Missingno. is encountered, the item in the 6th slot of the players bag will be duplicated to 128x. People used to use this glitch effect with rare items like Master Balls or Rare Candies, although using the latter to raise a pokémon to 100 would make it weaker than one raised to 100 normally. What has always intrigued me about Missingno. wasn't the ability to exploit the glitch as much as the idea that the game contained another rare pokémon.

Stat-wise, Missigno. had the highest Attack of any pokémon in Red or Blue, but it's defenses were dismal. Missingno. could appear as one of several forms. When caught it will know the moves Water Gun (in attack slot 1 AND 2) and Sky Attack. The best known forms are the "backward L shape" seen above, the Ghost of Pokémon Tower, as well as a fossilized versions Kabutops and Aerodactyl. Catching Missingno. can result in small bugs such as sprites becoming glitched during battle or messing up one's "Hall of Fame". Rarely did the glitch cause any problems worse than this, but there is always that chance it could delete a save file. Nintendo contends that Missingno. is "not a real part of the game" but rather a remnant of something else. In fact, a member of Smogon said that game designer and programmer Shigeki Mirimoto said that Red and Blue were originally going to have 190 pokémon, but many were "saved for later".

Porygon Z acting "glitchy" in Pokémon X and Y.
This almost would make it seem like Missingno. may have been recycled into a different pokémon. In many ways, Porygon Z shares many things in common with Missingno. Both are glitches, although one is an actual glitch (Missingno.) and the other is canonically referred to being abnormal due to the odd programming introduced by the Dubious Disc (Porygon Z). Also, although the Bird-type is not an actual pokémon type (most likely replaced by Flying), Porygon Z does have very bird-like characteristics. In fact, many have likened Porygon Z's appearance to a hummingbird. If Missingno. wasn't recycled to make Porygon Z, then Porygon Z is at the very least a spiritual successor to the mighty glitch.

For me though, this isn't enough. When I look at my National PokéDex I long to see an entry for Pokémon 000. Many games lately have found ways to bring in things to the franshise that are almost "tongue in cheek" shots at their own franchise. For example, the "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3" DLC allows people to play Dead Rising 3 in the style of Capcom's fighting games. I think Nintendo/Game Freak should resurrect the glitch pokémon as a legitimate event pokémon as the same sort of "tongue in cheek" jab and I have some ideas that could be used to update Missingno. for the 6th Generation.

...and it's a ground type.
First of all, Missingno.'s typing will have to change, mainly because "Bird" isn't a real thing in the games. The easiest change would be to swap this to "Flying". As for the Normal typing, it could be left the way it is, but that's too boring. There are WAY too many Normal/Flying Pokémon as it is. I suggest Steel. I don't want to take anything away from Skarmory, so it will be different, but I really want to play up the "computer glitch" aspect. The best way I feel to do that is to make Missingno. robotic. Being a robot would also allow Missingno. to keep its two well known moves Water Gun and Sky Attack. Last time I checked, robots could have guns that shoot various things like lasers, why not water? It can even be on the level up list twice, as that is actually rather common now. Also, robots can potentially Fly. Ask Golurk, it'll agree.

PokéStar Robot F-00
When I imagine the "glitchy robot" Missingno., I picture the robot that is fought in Black 2/White 2 in PokéStar Studios. It is essentially what I would expect for a new Missingno. to be, a glitched robot. As for ability, as I mentioned before I don't want to take anything away from Skarmory, so I want to make Missingno. very unique. As an event pokémon, I don't feel bad giving Missingno. a signature ability. My idea would be to give it an ability I'll tentatively call "Glitch". Not overly creative I know, but I want to make sure the allusion to the original Missingno. is very heavy. This new ability would be almost like a combination of Stance Change and Moody. Randomly between turns, Missingno. would change to it's "glitched" form that would be similar in appearance to the PokéStar Robot's broken form. Stats would shift, like they do with Stance Change, as well. While in it's normal un-glitched form, Missingno. would maintain the normal event pokémon spread of having 100 base stats across the board. However, when it "glitches out" all stats would shift to Attack and Special Attack at the cost of the Defenses going from 100 across the board to 150 in Attack and Special Attack, 50 in the Defenses. This is very similar to Aegislash, however Missingno.'s ability is random in comparison to Aegislash, and may never activate or activate at the wrong time. I feel this balances it out.

As for attacks, I already mentioned that Missingno. should keep it's Water Gun and Sky Attack. In addition to these, I think Missingno. should specialize in very "computer-esque" attacks as well as weird unpredictable ones. Moves like Lock-On, Zap Cannon, and Metronome come to mind. Anyway, what do you think Missingno. should learn? Do you have a different vision for Missingno. that you think would be good?