"Is that you, Mewtwo?" Niantic/YouTube

We aren’t catching them. They are catching us.

Y’all done up and done it. A New Yorker claims to have captured all 142 Pokémon, making him Pokémon Go’s first true Pokémaster. Nick Johnson walked 95 miles on foot, lost 10 pounds, and captured 4,269 monsters on his path to a complete Pokédex, the New York Daily News reports.

And yet, even this devoted Pokécatcher hasn’t caught ‘em all.

A little more than two weeks into the phenomenon called Pokémon Go, it’s astonishing how many promises Nintendo and Niantic Labs have delivered on. The game has inspired the Millennial-era traîneur, spurred public-safety notices in Japan (and a fatwa in Saudi Arabia), and otherwise transformed how players experience the built environment—as the game’s creators knew that it would.

But Nintendo and Niantic have yet to produce all the remaining Pokémon from the first generation of creatures. The original Pokémon number 151, including the ultra-rare “legendaries” such as Mew. That means that the current Pokédex is eight slots shy of the complete first class. And as user NesstendoYT first discovered, data listing the names of these rare creatures can be found in the game’s internal files, even if the creatures are not yet obtainable.

A trailer for the game released in 2015 gives a hint as to how these special creatures may eventually be released into the world. The video shows an event unfolding in Times Square in New York, a gathering that pits thousands of players against Mewtwo, which is (apparently) one of the game’s most powerful creatures.

This is the Poképocalypse: a mega-event on the scale of a New Year’s Eve or the Super Bowl. It’s hardly a hypothetical: Kotaku reports that a Pokémon Go Walk in Sydney drew more than 2,000 players—and that’s with no more push than a simple call for players on Facebook. It appears that Nintendo and Niantic mean to release certain legendary pocket monsters through mass gatherings.

A screengrab from the trailer for Pokémon Go shows massive crowds taking on Mewtwo in New York’s Times Square. (Niantic/YouTube)

Again, Niantic and Nintendo have been right about everything so far. Pokémon Go is already a global phenomenon, and it hasn’t even launched in China. The game was only just released in Japan this week. There is room for the game to get much, much larger.

Picture players gathering at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, the Hillbrow Tower in Johannesburg, and Times Square in New York—plus many smaller monuments and memorials in countless smaller towns and cities—to catch ‘em all. The Poképocalypse is coming.

We aren’t catching them. They are catching us.

(Niantic/YouTube)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo collage of 2020 presidential candidates.
    Equity

    Will Housing Swing the 2020 Election?

    Among Democratic candidates for president, the politics of America’s housing affordability crisis are getting complicated. Just wait until Trump barges in.

  2. A photo of an abandoned building in Newark, New Jersey.
    Equity

    The 10 Cities Getting a Philanthropic Boost for Economic Mobility

    An initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ballmer Group focuses on building “pipelines of opportunity.”

  3. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks at Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  4. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  5. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

×