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Why were rumours so much more common in the older games?

NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
Rumours were probably THE most defining aspects of the earlier generations of Pokémon, particularly during Gen 1 and the transition to Gen 2. However, they seemed to die down as the franchise went on, eventually disappearing almost completely. Probably some of the most well-known rumours were:

  • Mew under the truck near the S.S. Anne
  • Togepi being obtainable in R/B/Y (this sometimes expanded to include Marill, then called "Pikablu", as well)
  • You could fly into outer space and catch Deoxys in R/S/E after the Mossdeep rocket reached a certain number of launches
  • Jirachi was hiding under the mysterious white rock in Mossdeep
  • Beating the Elite 4 and Champion a silly amount of times would allow you to get a rare, never-seen-before Pokémon or battle the Professor
  • The so-called "PokéGods", who were immensely powerful but required a lot of seemingly ridiculous tasks just to obtain

Why were the first three gens in particular such a prolific source of rumours back in the day? Was it the relative mystique of the games, or was it because we were all young back then and were more inclined to believe in and spread rumours? Or was it because Pokémon was rather new back then and people didn't know much about it?

(The third rumour in my list did come true eventually, though you fly into space on Rayquaza, not in a rocket.)
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Answer is simple: there was no YouTube to show gameplay and the Internet was still a commodity and not everyone had easy access to it. And in Gen I, the games were rather new and the first so no one had any idea what to do or expect as there seemed to be hidden secrets everywhere.
 

Italianbaptist

Informed Casual
To add to what others have already said, I’d say the spirit of the rumors live on in speculation and fakemon design. We’re just more transparent that the ideas are our own rather than saying, “My uncle works for Nintendo.” :)
 

pacman000

On a quest to be the best...
They released designs for Marill & a few other Pokémon before the 2nd games came out. If you weren't paying attention to Nintendo Power, you might've thought you could get those characters in the 1st gen.

Not sure about the Mew/Truck thing; perhaps someone stumbled onto the Mew glitch without realizing what really happened.

Wrote about this awhile back:
And here's a good page about the old reumor, if it's still up: https://www.angelfire.com/pokemon2/animerpg/
 

Auraninja

Eh, ragazzo!
I think part of the reason rumors gained a lot of traction is there were random things that were true in the original Pokemon games.

You could duplicate items with a rare sprite glitch, and it is possible to get Mew with oddly specific steps.

Nowadays, you have a much more sophisticated Internet where you can easily debunk false information.
 

NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
Not sure about the Mew/Truck thing; perhaps someone stumbled onto the Mew glitch without realizing what really happened.

It was a pretty popular rumour back in the days of R/B/Y. That truck had to be there for a reason, right? (Actually, in FR/LG, it was... but it was hiding a Lava Cookie, not Mew.)
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Gen IV was when the Internet was becoming far more accessible and common. Up until then kids typically only had online access in their schools and if they had it at home then they really couldn’t use it freely because you had to use a password to even get the modem to connect to the Internet and it was dial up which was incredibly slow.
 

Italianbaptist

Informed Casual
Gen IV was when the Internet was becoming far more accessible and common. Up until then kids typically only had online access in their schools and if they had it at home then they really couldn’t use it freely because you had to use a password to even get the modem to connect to the Internet and it was dial up which was incredibly slow.
 

SBaby

Dungeon Master
I don't know. Maybe the reason rumors aren't as common anymore is because the people that used to start those rumors grew up. Rumors and troll hints often times are made by younger and more immature gamers. After awhile, they grow out of it and stop doing it because they just want to play the game and they stop caring about spreading misinformation.
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
They released designs for Marill & a few other Pokémon before the 2nd games came out. If you weren't paying attention to Nintendo Power, you might've thought you could get those characters in the 1st gen.

Not sure about the Mew/Truck thing; perhaps someone stumbled onto the Mew glitch without realizing what really happened.

Wrote about this awhile back:
And here's a good page about the old reumor, if it's still up: https://www.angelfire.com/pokemon2/animerpg/
I'm still not quite sure where knowledge of the Mew glitch first originated from considering that the steps necessary to achieve it were rather complex and not something that people would normally stumble upon accidentally. I sometimes get the feeling that someone who worked for Game Freak leaked that information to the public.
 

NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
Gen IV was when the Internet was becoming far more accessible and common. Up until then kids typically only had online access in their schools and if they had it at home then they really couldn’t use it freely because you had to use a password to even get the modem to connect to the Internet and it was dial up which was incredibly slow.

And you couldn't use the phone at the same time as the Internet. Ah, the joys of being a 90s kid... :p

Because of the internet obviously. Back in the earlier gens few people had internet access so they couldn't go online and research rumors as easily as you can these days.

And the stuff that WAS on the Internet - if you could even access it back then - were mostly rumours, like the so-called "PokéGods" I mentioned in the first post here. I think it was because YouTube wasn't really a thing just yet, so there were very few official communication channels from Nintendo and Game Freak online, other than their official websites.
 
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I'm still not quite sure where knowledge of the Mew glitch first originated from considering that the steps necessary to achieve it were rather complex and not something that people would normally stumble upon accidentally. I sometimes get the feeling that someone who worked for Game Freak leaked that information to the public.
Millions of people played the Gen 1 games. It's entirely possible that someone stumbled upon the glitch by complete accident, or that someone was intentionally trying to break the game to see how they could mess it up.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Google also didn’t exist for the first two Gens and verifying pics through a web search was pretty much you typing into the search box in text exactly what you were looking for and then shifting through every single hit until you found what you wanted.
 

pacman000

On a quest to be the best...
Google existed in 1998, but it was just a university project. http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html Contemporary search engines don't seem that bad tho, based on archived results:

InFind, 2000: https://web.archive.org/web/20000109055458/http://www.infind.com/infind/infind.exe?query=pokemon
Excite, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19991128221534/http://search.excite.com/search.gw?search=pokemon
HotBot, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19990909192907/http://www.hotbot.com/?MT=pokemon
NorthernLight, 2000: https://web.archive.org/web/20001120004400/http://www.northernlight.com/nlquery.fcg?qr=pokemon
Yahoo, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19990916141428/http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=pokemon

Technically, Yahoo was a directory, but it was the most popular service, so it should still be included.

I made a search form to look up results from old engines in the Wayback Machine a few years ago: https://websitering.neocities.org/DinoSearch/

From what I remember, Google had a similar mix of official sites, commercial sites, & random fan pages around 2001; that was just what the web had at the time.
 
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Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Google existed in 1998, but it was just a university project. http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html Contemporary search engines don't seem that bad tho, based on archived results:

InFind, 2000: https://web.archive.org/web/20000109055458/http://www.infind.com/infind/infind.exe?query=pokemon
Excite, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19991128221534/http://search.excite.com/search.gw?search=pokemon
HotBot, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19990909192907/http://www.hotbot.com/?MT=pokemon
NorthernLight, 2000: https://web.archive.org/web/20001120004400/http://www.northernlight.com/nlquery.fcg?qr=pokemon
Yahoo, 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19990916141428/http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=pokemon

Technically, Yahoo was a directory, but it was the most popular service, so it should still be included.

I made a search form to look up results from old engines in the Wayback Machine a few years ago: https://websitering.neocities.org/DinoSearch/

From what I remember, Google had a similar mix of official sites, commercial sites, & random fan pages around 2001; that was just what the web had at the time.
Which is what I mean. It was difficult to get official artwork and proof that these rumors were true. No one knew what to look for when it came to verifying any “leaked” artwork or new Pokémon. April Fools Day was especially effective into making people believe in rumors. And some hoaxes turned out to be somewhat true or very close to it but it was difficult to accurately call out false info. And what I was talking about with Google was the fact that it wasn’t a publicly accessible internet search tool until around 2003 which is when Gen III came out in the US.
 

pacman000

On a quest to be the best...
Google launched a public version of their engine in 1998: https://web.archive.org/web/19981111184551/http://google.com/

By 2000 they'd left the beta-test phase: https://web.archive.org/web/20000301105534/http://google.com/

They started licensing results to Yahoo around that time, replacing Inktomi as Yahoo's backup search engine when the directory had too few results.

I do agree that it was hard to figure out what was official & what wasn't. Shoot, official sources got stuff wrong too, like that Tops Trading card which used Pikablu instead of Marril.
 

Missingno.Fan

Well-Known Member
There are two big things I can think of. The lack of widespread internet access is the biggest one. Let’s just say that some kid on the playground said that you can get Pikablu by playing your game for 100 hours. You couldn’t just whip out your smart phone and google “how to get Pikablu”. You had to wait until you got to a computer with access and use a primitive search engine to look it up. Also with the internet being new, I think most people weren’t used to it and it wouldn’t occur to them to look it up. Or at least that’s how I was.

Also many of these rumors are started by kids. The fan base has matured since then. A ten-year-old might buy into something that would make a thirty-year-old roll their eyes.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
At my school, everyone heard about the Mew under the truck rumor but no one really bothered to try to do the supposed steps to get it. In my VC version of Blue, I purposely traded with myself a Pokémon that knew Cut to prevent the SS Anne from leaving because I want to see what exactly it looks like.
 
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